Tuesday, June 17, 2008


ABOUT: The Other Boleyn Girl is the 2008 film adaptation of the novel of the same title by British author Philippa Gregory and a remake of a BBC television film of the same name also based on Philippa Gregory's novel. Starring Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johanssen and Eric Bana, it is a romanticized account of the life of the 16th-century aristocrat, Mary Boleyn, who was the sister of Anne Boleyn and one-time mistress of King Henry VIII of England. The film was directed by Justin Chadwick from a script by Peter Morgan (who also wrote a two-part television drama on Henry VIII in 2003).

This atmospheric period drama follows the fierce competition between sisters Mary (Scarlett Johansson) and Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman) to win the affections of Tudor king Henry VIII (Eric Bana). Anne and Mary Boleyn are under pressure from their father and uncle to help maintain the family's rich legacy and ensure their further prosperity by winning the affections of none other than the king of England (Eric Bana). But life in the royal court is far different than it was in the countryside where these two sisters were raised, and before long their bid to earn the love of the king has transformed two once-happy sisters into bitter rivals.

At first, it appears that Mary has triumphed in winning the king's favor by becoming his mistress and bearing him an illegitimate child. Despite her early success, however, Mary has underestimated just how clever and cunning her sibling can truly be. Not only does the relentless Anne manage to edge aside her sister in the eyes of King Henry, but she also succeeds in averting his gaze from his wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, as well. Mary is driven by genuine affection for King Henry, while her sister Anne has only kept up the charade in a desperate bid to become the queen of England.

Now, the growing chasm between two sisters is mirrored on a larger scale as England becomes divided more than ever before. As the consequences of their actions threaten to alter the course of an entire nation, these two sisters will ultimately discover that the only place they will find true strength and loyalty is in family, and that no matter what the consequences they will forever be bound by blood.

MY REVIEW: The Other Boleyn Girl is like the Lifetime version of this story. It's the version for the Gossip Girls crowd. Where all the romance and dramatics are over the top while the real story takes a backseat. I can't say that I know a whole lot about this period in history, I leave that up to my girlfriend Kelly who has a history degree and kept pointing out everything that was wrong during the film, but I do know that this movie wasn't aiming for historical accuracy.

There is nothing wrong with that because sometimes movies can't always be true to life. But in a movie that has a really interesting story to tell, decides to just tell the romance novel parts, instead of what really happened which is a lot better then just dramatic after dramatic.

The whole cast seems like they are bored throughout the film. I like Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman but here they don't even look like they are trying. The film does have some things working for it though. It's nice to look at, with the production design and costumes all done really well. Despite its flaws the movie is still watchable, but if you want the real story on what went down, do some reading.

MY CHEESY RATING: The Other Boleyn Girl gives birth to a 5 out of 10.



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