Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Other Boleyn Girl movie

The Other Boleyn Girl
Director: Justin Chadwick
Cast: Natalie Portman (Anne Boleyn), Scarlett Johanson (Mary Boleyn), Eric Bana (King Henry VIII), Jim Sturgess (George Boleyn), Mark Rylance (Sir Thomas Boleyn), Kristen Scott Thomas (Lady Elizabeth Boleyn). David Morrissy (The Duke of Norfolk), Ana Torrent (Katherine of Aragon)
Screenplay: Peter Morgan
Year: 2008
Length:  1 hr, 55 min.
Verdict: SKIP
Rated: PG-13 A little sex, (not a whole lot) and two pretty frightening executions
Faithfulness: 2%

BE FOREWARNED BEFORE WATCHING THIS MOVIE: The movie is NOTHING like the book. Nothing in this is similar in any way to the book except for one scene, and the overall plot of the book and ending, which is obvious. That aside, the acting in this movie is great. Natalie Portman steals the show, although Scarlett Johanson is quite close. Everybody from Jim Sturgess who portrays George just as I imagined he would be, and David Morrissy, who plays her uncle, the real antagonist, has such a presence when he's on screen that I was scared of him during the whole movie. The only person who doesn't quite make it is Eric Bana, not a poor choice, but they could have chosen someone better. Bana just doesn't have that presence, I found him quite weak compared to what I imagined Henry in the book.
But of course even when you have good actors, even when you have delectably GORGEOUS sets and costumes, even when the script isn't that bad, the movie just skips over the major scenes in the book. Instead, unnessecary scenes were added in, or tinkered with (Jim Stugess goes to the scaffold like a coward). A lot of the characters were cut out of the whole movie (Cardinal Wolsey the king's adviser, and a major player in the book went missing). And as good as Portman and Johanson are, a lot of the actors murmur their lines than speak them normally, which gets annoying after a while.
The whole movie desperately wants to rush to a conclusion , because of that it leaves out many important character motives and events including George's homosexuality. I know that most movies aren't completely faithful to the book, but this one just didn't make it. It's great eye-candy, but there's nothing containing substance. Readers of the book will notice the rush the movie decides to take, (and a few historical innacuracies concerning several plot points) so this is not for them. In fact, only a Tudor fanatic that has the brain to not take this movie seriously will enjoy it.


Muse in the Fog said...

Since I had just read the book, I was so excited when I found out they were making this movie! Unfortunately, I was greatly disappointed by it :( The two are not even comparable. So sad, it could have been such a great thing!

Katy said...

OK, I totally stayed away from the book because I disliked the movie SO much. Perhaps I should give it try? It is extremely sad that a movie that I didn't like has made me pass up an author that so many people seem to love...

The Critic said...

Muse, unfortunately it was pretty disappointing. It's really sad because the screenwriter Peter Morgan did The Queen with Helen Mirren, which was really good. :(

Katy, I did do a review of the book. I gave it a CHECK IT OUT, it's not amazing, if you want to pick it up from the library by all means do it, it's not that terrible.