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Sonoma County Gazette
Wonder Woman

Wonderful Women

Oct 23, 2017
by Diane McCurdy, Film and Book Reviews


Misogyny has always been rampant in Hollywood. Producers, directors and screen writers seem to be stuck on the Madonna/whore syndrome. Women are either portrayed as virtuous, Stepford-wife types, supportive shadows or they are vixens, femme fatales sexy, scheming and salacious. Another aspect of this phenomenon is the more practical consideration of monetary compensation for female actresses. Oscar winners Patricia Arquette and Jennifer Laurence have publicly railed against the ordinary practice of paying male stars substantially more than female stars who are doing basically the same job. Then, of course, there is the Harvey Weinstein types to deal with.

Now on DVD the glorious anomaly of Wonder Woman breaks the mold and makes its spectacular success even more delicious. The super hero concept that has been a trend in the last couple of years with reboots of Spiderman, Batman, and Superman, etc. now has an estrogenic champion. The darling of critics and audiences alike , the film did extremely well at the box office and will probably, after overseas receipts are tallied, generate proceeds in the hundreds of millions of dollars if not billions.

The scene opens when Diana, our wonder girl, is living on an idyllic island of all women which is protected from intruders by an invisible membrane. Her mother is queen of the Amazons. When an American pilot crashes into the sea, Diana rescues him and when encircled with the lasso of truthhe reveals that he is a spy working against the Germans in World War I. Diana feels that Ares, the god of war, is responsible for the conflict and and it is her destiny to save the world from his wrath. Hence the seamless blending of fact and myth. The expository beginning is over shadowed by the bedazzling bombast at the end when Diana and Ares battle and she saves the Earth.

This film is also directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins, who is best known for guiding Charlize Theron to an Oscar winning performance in Monster. In this piece she proves that a woman can manage an action-packed super hero/heroine theme as well as any man.     

Gal Godot as Diana is a force of nature. Tall, willowy, a former Miss Israel, beautiful she is but it is her screen presence that is stunning. The camera loves her.  She is of Polish, German, Czech and Austrian Jewish descent. Her maternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors. She performed her obligatory military duty and studied law but is now following this more lucrative path. Here is what makes her extraordinary. When doing re-shoots for the film she was five months pregnant with her second child. That is truly astounding considering the physicality that was required. Gal in every sense is woman of wonder.


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