First of all, I don’t even recall if I ever took English History in college, and if I did, it was a heck of a long time ago and I’ve slept since then. So I don’t really know how much of this movie is fiction and how much is based on fact. Oh, I’d heard of Anne Boleyn, of course, and I had a pretty good idea how it was going to end. But you don’t watch period costume dramas for the history, or at least I don’t. When I watch one, it’s for the spectacle, the soap opera, and (let’s be honest here) the swordfights.
Well, you get two out of three in THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL.
Natalie Portman is Anne Boleyn, Scarlett Johannson is her sister Mary, and Eric Bana is a buffed-up Henry VIII who doesn’t look at all like the usual pictures of the king. There’s all sorts of political intrigue, love triangles, lust, adultery, near-incest, and heartbreak. With all these rich, powerful, beautiful, angst-filled people running around, it was like watching the GOSSIP GIRL version of English history. (Credit to Shayna for coming up with that dead-on review while we were watching the movie.) But it’s well-acted, sumptuously staged, and beautifully photographed. I enjoyed it. It could have used a few swordfights, though.