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Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

When it becomes clear that Catherine of Aragon (Ana Torrent, SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE) is unable to produce a male heir, the Duke of Norfolk (David Morissey) plots to install his niece Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman) as the King's mistress. But when Henry VIII (Eric Bana) falls in love with Anne's married sister (Scarlett Johansson), the ambitions of the Duke and the Bolelyn family will have tragic consequences for all concerned. Based on the novel by Philippa Gregory, the film is a highly fictionalized and romanticized look at the Tudor/Boleyn saga. Don't go looking for historical accuracy because it's not there but as a period soap opera, it's a fairly compelling story. Portman and Johansson are both fine once you get past their near non-existent British accents but since the film plays fast and loose with the historical facts anyway, it seems cantankerous to make it an issue. The picture looks spectacular and the art direction and costumes are superb. Directed by Justin Chadwick. With Kristin Scott Thomas, very good as the Boleyn mother who's against the political machinations, Eddie Redmayne, Jim Sturgess, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juno Temple and Mark Rylance.

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