Today most of pin-up girl Bettie Page's photos wouldn't be considered racy enough for the cover of Maxim. But in the 1950s, her provocative poses, some in leather bondage outfits or no clothes at all, inspired a cult following and prompted a Senate investigation into pornography. It all seems like much ado about nothing to Page (Mol), who explains, "We're just dressing up. There's no harm in it."
Good for her, but bad for audiences. Yes, Mol admirably has Page's poses—pert, haughty, sexy, saucy—down cold. However, without much conflict about Page's so-called "notorious" line of work, the film often shuffles along as if director and cowriter Mary Harron (American Psycho) were shackled in Page's bondage gear herself. Look for a cameo by David Strathairn, who, in an eerie counterpoint to his turn as McCarthyism-battling Edward R. Murrow in Good Night, and Good Luck, plays morality crusader Sen. Estes Kefauver. (R)