Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Other Bolyen Girl

Yes - I actually went to a movie, in a theatre! Quite exciting for me. My best friend Jenn was up to visit for the weekend last weekend and we went to Green Bay to watch The Other Bolyen Girl on sunday. My favorite part of the movie experience was on leaving the theatre, Jenn said, "That didn't end the way I thought it would." Jenn you crack me up sometimes!! Any historical fiction movie about Anne Boleyn is bound to end one way (off with her head!!) as much as we wish Henry VIII was a little more compassionate towards his wifes! So in other words, if you are looking for a happy movie, this is not for you! Also if you are looking for a historically accurate portrayal of Anne and Mary Boleyn, there are a lot of plot holes and obvious inaccuracies that will make you angry. I was willing to overlook these for the sake of the story!

I have read the novel that this is based on, but it has been quite a few years so I can't complain on how well it did or didn't follow the novel. It did make some changes that I approved of, although I noticed other things were off, I was willing to go with it.

The overall plot of the movie was about the rise and fall of the Boleyns. Uncle Norfolk and Thomas Boleyn decide that Thomas' eldest daughter Anne should try to capture the eye of King Henry now that his marriage to Catherine of Aragon has soured. During a trip to visit the Boleyns, Anne inadvertently leads to the King being in an accident. The King is attended by Anne's sister Mary, a tender hearted young girl who has only recently married. He is interested in her and has her and Anne sent to court. There Mary becomes his mistress and falls in love with Henry. Meanwhile Anne runs off with young Henry Percy. He is not allowed to marry without council and the King's permission because he is a noblemen so the Boleyns separate the two and send Anne to France. Anne is angry at Mary for telling her father of the marriage. Mary becomes pregnant with the King's child and Anne returns to England to keep Henry's attention. She refuses to sleep with him and he finds himself smitten with her. Although Mary bears him a son, he sends her away and chases after Anne, breaking Mary's heart. Henry then tries to annul his marriage to Catherine so he can be with Anne . . . and the course of history takes over!!

I loved the performances of Scarlett Johnason as Mary, Natalie Portman as Anne, Kirsten Scott Thomas as their mother Lady Boleyn, and Eric Bana as Henry VIII. They were fantastic performances. I especially liked Scott Thomas as a suffering woman who does not like her daughters being used as pawns. Eric Bana was HOT as Henry the VIII. I don't think Henry VIII has ever looked so sexy. The movie did a good job as showing how Anne turned him from a "faithful" husband and Catholic into someone who no longer has respect for his wife and was dismayed at his loss of religion. It's easy to see how what Anne turned him into lead him down the road to having six wives. The costumes and scenary were also fantastic.

The only complaints I had about the movie were that I wish it had focused more on Mary. It was supposed to be Mary's story, but Anne's is so compelling she sort of runs away with the movie. One giant gape in the script is - what happened to Mary's 1st husband. He is around looking sad and then he's gone. They could have at least mentioned that he died!

Otherwise I thought the movie was a great tale of greed, corruption, and lust. I liked it - although I'm glad that I don't live in those times!!

The website for the movie has the great trailer on it and some good pictures. Click here!

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