Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

There were lots of things I liked about The Other Boleyn Girl. The two lead actresses - Natalie Portman as Anne, and Scarlett Johansson as Mary - are terrific. They have the right amount of sisterly love and competition going throughout and it's easy to see why one wins over the other (competition more often wins over sisterly love until just at the end). The movie as a whole shows a terrific "bodice-ripping" period with just the right amount of intrigue and "bodice ripping". Anne and King Henry VIII (without his ruddy historically painted looks) are meant to be together to lift up the status of the Boleyns. However, Anne is a little too kooky and powerful for the King, and he takes a like to Mary. I believe they actually had a long relationship with several children produced, but it's very condensed in the movie to less than a year. Then Anne returns from being punished and has acquired lots of feminine wiles to charm the King while in France. This is understated in the movie, as she's basically the same before and after, but with a new green dress (from the movie posters) and a new hairstyle. Ultimately, as history recorded, Henry accused her of treason - most likely because she couldn't produce a male heir, and he wanted a different woman, and since he'd already split from Rome it was possible to just get rid of Anne - and she was beheaded. Overall, it's a movie that fudges the edges of history to tell an interesting story that's often kept in the background. However, I'd recommend Showtime's The Tudors if you're actually interested - it's much more graphic and detailed (since it's a series it has the time to tell a better story), and the actress who plays Anne, Natalie Dormer, is much more subtle in her portrayal, you believe she might have some witchcraft going on (which is what she's later accused of along with treason). Finally, the thing about The Other Boleyn Girl that drove me nuts was the costumes, specifically the women's headdresses. They changed too frequently to be accurate for the rest of the timeline, and were incredibly distracting. Kristin Scott Thomas, who is pretty terrific as the mother watching her daughters be moved around like chattel, wears the same one throughout the movie and in one scene it even catches the light and looks like a complicated electronic birdhouse displayed on her head.

4 comments:

Yumi said...

teehee. electronic birdhouse. you're a genius :)

soundtrackgeek said...

Interesting... I love The Tudors, and it will be interesting to see this one, even without Wolsey *sniff*sniff*. I know that The Tudors is not really accurate except for the characters Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, which suit their personality.

I also know that the book this movie is based on is filled with inaccuracies. As long as it's good on the big screen I don't care ;)

Jess said...

Jorn, you won't miss Wolsey - they barely show anyone beyond the Boleyns and King Henry. It was a fun romp on the big screen, and I do recommend checking it out. Though if you like the Tudors, save your money and get Showtime to see them live.

Nayana Anthony said...

Yeah, the hats drove me nuts.