The Notorious Bettie Page: The Sweet Sinner — 4 years ago
I picked this up because I have a soft spot for Gretchen Mol and I was curious about Bettie Page and the art of the pin-up in the early 20th Century, although I felt a little dirty taking it off the shelf. I shouldn’t have. This is the sweetest, most innocent movie about sex and vice that I’ve ever seen. Not that the vice is particularly shocking: these were the shame of the 50s, after all, so they’re not terribly horrifying half a century later. But this movie effectively gives you a sense of the time and the viewpoints of the people who live there, as well as the story of Bettie Page, a woman who is seemingly a curiosity – a devoutly Christian fetish model. Mol handles a very difficult role incredibly well, and carries the picture on her shoulders. I also enjoyed Chris Bauer and Lili Taylor as Irving & Paula Klaw, the brother-sister act who first got Page into fetish modeling. An interesting study of character and circumstances: recommended!