Gretchen Mol pins down role in `Bettie Page'

Review B

May 26, 2006|By MICHAEL SRAGOW | MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

Gretchen Mol carries The Notorious Bettie Page on her back -- and every other body part. With a wholesome gusto, she inhabits the role of a Tennessee woman who moved to New York and, there and in Florida, became the pin-up gal of the Fifties. She convinces us that Page brought the same wide-eyed innocence to posing in bondage stills and "acting" in S&M movies as she did to frolicking bare in the sun for nature-loving nudist films.

Despite the flimsy script by Guinevere Turner and director Mary Harron, Mol effortlessly sells their vision of a guileless, generous gal making her way through life by doing what she does best: having fun in front of the camera.

The Notorious Bettie Page (Picturehouse) Starring Gretchen Mol, Sarah Paulson, Lili Taylor, Chris Bauer and David Strathairn. Directed by Mary Harron. Rated R. Time 91 minutes.

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