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The Other Boleyn Girl

the 2008 film starring Natalie Portman

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Brutal Power Struggle and Drama.

  • Sep 2, 2009
  • by

I have not read the book by this same title. Nor have I watched any of the popular Tudor's series of late.

I don't know what's worse...watching a film that is beautiful in scenery, costume and acting not knowing what the outcome will be and hoping for the best, or knowing and having the impotent sense of horror as you watch it all unfold. The film starts with "Mr." Boleyn offering his girls to the highest bidder...more or less. Anne (Natalie Portman), the oldest, is requested for marriage. Her father offers her younger, equally beautiful sister Mary, (Scarlett Johansson) instead. She's the nicer of the two and more likely to be content with a mere merchant.

 Father is not, he has great ambition for his children. And so the story goes.

Mary's marriage conveniently gets set aside on account of the King Henry's (Eric Bana) great need for a male heir and his wife's inability to provide one. When Mary Boleyn is pregnant, the king's eye must not wander away from the tight circle of power that is being woven around him, enter Anne.

But Anne has ambition of her own. The madness and horrible outcome unfolds in the absolute worst possible way. The history is fascinating and brutal. As ugly as American politics are today, they are nothing compared to the drama of King Henry's court.

There are sex scenes in the film. However, they are more arty that crude. One is disturbing but both partners are shown fully clothed. A couple others are shown quickly and include a naked thigh in profile. Beheadings occur off screen. There is no language warning. The lighting was sometimes a little dark. And more than one scene change made me pause to figure out what had just happened.

Definitely worth the rental in my book. But a little depressing to keep in my permanent library, but if I can find it for a decent price I might. It felt very much like  Girl With a Pearl Earring and a little like Marie Antoinette. Fans of either or both would probably like Other Boleyn.  

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September 07, 2009
Thanks for the suggestion, Queen B...I think I'll just do that. Catherine was not a good choice in names, then. : ).
September 06, 2009
I've seen quite a few different films on this period in British history and it's really very fascinating. If you want a really good time try and see the BBC mini-series THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII. If nothing else it will prepare you if you ever go on Jeopardy and they ask any questions about them. =) There were only 3 names involved; Anne, Catherine, and Jane--and the Catherines were all in Alpabetical order by their maiden names. How convenient.
More The Other Boleyn Girl reviews
review by . March 13, 2009
The Other Boleyn Girl
Much has been written about this turbulent time in English history, the reign of Henry VIII, when the English Court changed course, breaking from the Roman Church in order to dissolve Henry's marriage to Katherine of Aragon, who could not bear a living heir to the throne.      The fortunes of the great aristocratic families, who fill the courts and fawn upon the King, are immensely enriched when they gain the King's favor and attention. Comely as a young king, Henry VIII is accustomed …
review by . September 05, 2008
Seeing that this movie is from a novel based on historical events, the general gist of the story may not be unfamiliar to most, although the accuracy of some of the content may be debatable.       Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):     1. Henry VIII (Eric Bana) was a handsome, hunky, hunka hunka burnin' love   2. Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman) and her sister Mary (Scarlett Johansson) were babelicious babes   3. Married Henry …
About the reviewer
Kelly Klepfer ()
Ranked #57
Member Since: Feb 11, 2009
Last Login: Jun 8, 2012 02:25 AM UTC
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