Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, sexual content and some violent images.
Directed By: Justin Chadwick
Written By: Peter Morgan
Betrothed is not married… It is a long way on bended knee to the altar. -Anne Boleyn
Shortly after Mary Boleyn has married a man with no title and no aspirations for one, her unbetrothed sister Anne has been offered the chance to work her way in as King Henry’s mistress when it is discovered his wife can bear him no more children, and he has no heir to the throne. Anne fails to catch the King’s fancy, but her newlywed sister does by no desire of her own, and then finds the family being summoned to the castle so Mary may live in the Queens quarters and the king may keep her as his mistress. Anne is enraged with jealousy but focuses her attention on another man, and when things become even more perilous for the family and their ambitions Anne is sent away to France, while Mary stays in bed pregnant with the kings child. Upon Anne’s return things become twisted with even more devilry and scandal.
Time pieces are always difficult, especially when real character’s are integrated into them, or a story as well known as the love affair between Queen Anne and Henry VIII. The Other Boleyn Sister integrated the right amount of fact and fiction combined to make the story fresh, exciting, and if possible even more scandalous. The real life story behind the Boleyn sisters is sketchy, with little proof behind much of what history has gathered, though the finale resolving Anne’s actual demise being unjustified and unfairly persecuted seems to be agreed upon a general consensus to history buffs. However, this movie dabbles in fact, but relies solely on fiction to create a lustful triangle of ambition in the royal palace of England.
The textured characterizations this film omits become the driving force of the story. The way ambition and corruption affect each and every character is fascinating. The way the relationships alter, and family is torn apart for the sake of family captivates you and really lets the viewer ascertain the melodrama circulating between very specific events. The complexity of each character and the perceptions they each make about one another makes the film suspenseful in it’s own right.
The cinematography was beautiful but the costumes contrasting it’s back round effects became a star all in it’s own capacity. The magnificent reds, yellows, and greens were breath taking and the lovely ladies wearing them were along with them. Henry Tudor’s excessive kingly attire was magnanimous. The entire physicality of the movie contributed just as much as the script and the actors.
- Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn
- Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn
- Eric Bana as Henry Tudor aka Henry VIII
- Kristin Scott Thomas as Lady Elizabeth Boleyn
- Jim Sturgess as George Boleyn
- Mark Rylance as Sir Thomas Boleyn
- David Morrissey as Thomas Howard- Duke Of Norfolk
- Benedict Cumberbatch as William Carey
- Ana Torrent as Katherine of Aragan
- Eddie Redmayne as William Stafford
- Juno Temple as Jane Parker
Natalie Portman shows why she is one of the best young actresses out there today. The transition of Anne from young affected girl, to the ambitious woman returned from France, to the mad Queen of England was natural and yet entirely distinct. Anne was a very changed woman in each of these stages and Natalie Portman perceived it pitch perfectly. Her performance was enamoring. Her counterparts Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana were no slouches in return. Scarlett played the sweet, demure, and trusting Mary to an extent that made her entirely infectious. Eric Bana’s portrayal of Henry Tudor interpreted him as a whimsical man, who was used to having exactly what he wanted and let his arrogance and desires rule him. The trio is truly what made the final outcome of the tale so successful in it’s telling.
Ratings And Suggestions
The film is sexual in nature, not to mention the entire theme of sensuality very definitive from scene one makes this a very fair PG-13 rating and certainly not for the likes of a younger audience, though not too risque for a thirteen year old. It leaves much to the imagination and frankly that is was makes it’s sensuous corrupt nature even more alluring. The Other Boleyn Girl is the complete package for a film of this genre and only lacks in a few small departments. At it’s very worst I would deem this movie a guilty pleasure for it’s erotic overtones and stunning actors and actresses. I really enjoyed this one and give it Three out of Four ambitious stars.