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April 20, 2006

The Notorious Bettie Page

Bettiepage03220617 Director/Co-writer Mary Harron ("American Psycho") holds ‘50s S&M pin-up queen Bettie Page against a refracted image without acknowledging psychological pain inflicted on Bette due to sexual abuses she suffered as a young woman before abandoning her hometown of Nashville for Manhattan. Gretchen Mol is stunning for her uninhibited portrayal that reveals more skin than depth of character. Harron weakens the narrative by framing it with an underdeveloped version of the 1955 Senate Subcommittee hearings investigating the impact of Bettie Page’s pornographic material on juvenile delinquency. Beautifully stylized but emotionally flat, "The Notorious Bettie Page" is a confined but enjoyable conception of Bettie Page’s brief-but-influential career.

Rated R. 90 mins. (B-) (Two Stars)

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