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Riikka February 20th, 2008 'The Other Boleyn Girl'

Here’s another Boleyn Girl review, courtesy of Hollywood Reporter. It is less complimentary than the Variety one but it still praises Scarlett’s versatility and her character’s growth in the movie.

Anne Boleyn was the one who managed to stay alive while married to England’s King Henry VIII for 1,000 days, but her sister Mary in “The Other Boleyn Girl” would have been his queen if only she had been better at making babies.

That, of course, was always the problem. The Tudor line’s grip on the throne was invariably threatened by the lack of a son, even though it would be daughter Elizabeth who reigned in the nation’s golden age.

In Justin Chadwick’s handsome but glum film, based on the novel by Philippa Gregory, the focus is on Anne (Natalie Portman) and Mary (Scarlett Johansson) as their father, Thomas Boleyn (Mark Rylance), and uncle, the Duke of Norfolk (David Morrissey), conspire for one of them to win the king’s fancy while their mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) looks on in disgust.

Shot in high definition and filmed at many historic locations, the film somehow still lacks the splendor of an epic, and its urgency to get on with the next plot point leaves much unexplained while context goes out the window. Good performances by the female leads and all the appurtenances and costumes of the time might attract fans of period movies, but there’s not enough flash and fire to grab the attention of a wider audience.

Already given screen treatment in a 2003 BBC TV film, “Boleyn Girl” here gets a bigger budget, big-name stars and a script by Peter Morgan (“The Queen,” “The Last King of Scotland”).

Morgan already had a go at this particular monarch for Granada Television in 2003 with “Henry VIII,” starring Ray Winstone, and he’s back presumably attracted by the opportunity to write for two dynamic actresses playing competing sisters.

His script lacks punch, however. Portman and Johansson are more than equal to the demands, but with a tougher-minded script they might have soared. Portman comes to grips with the sharpest lines, but she could have done so much more. Johansson’s character grows the most in the film and once again the star dazzles with her versatility.

Eric Bana as the king offers little help. Such is his lack of screen presence that the Australian film star virtually disappears whenever Portman, Johansson or Scott Thomas makes an appearance.

History is smoothed out for the story — Mary was actually 12 when she married her first husband, who was 24 — and some key figures are omitted, including Cardinal Wolsey and Sir Thomas More.

The Duke of Norfolk becomes the main villain of the piece, ruthlessly determined to place one or the other of his brother-in-law’s pretty daughters into the king’s bed in order to enrich the family. Scott Thomas’ mother registers her disdain for the proceedings more with her powerful gaze than any pungency in the lines of dialogue. Ana Torrent makes a strong impression too as the dismayed and discarded Queen Katharine of Aragon.

Although the various homes and castles are lovely to see, the story feels rushed, a feeling made worse by the director cutting every couple of scenes to somebody on horseback riding furiously through woods or water. Like the film, it’s not always clear why.

Focus Features, Columbia Pictures
BBC Films, Ruby Films, Scott Rudin Prods., Relativity Media
Director Justin Chadwick
Writer: Peter Morgan
Producer: Alison Owen
Executive producers: Scott Rudin, David M. Thompson
Director of photography: Kieran McGuigan
Production designer: John-Paul Kelly
Music: Paul Cantelon
Costume designer: Sandy Powell
Co-producer: Mark Cooper
Editors: Paul Knight, Carol Littleton
Anne Boleyn: Natalie Portman
Mary Boleyn: Scarlett Johansson
King Henry VIII: Eric Bana
Duke of Norfolk: David Morrissey
Lady Elizabeth Boleyn: Kristin Scott Thomas
Sir Thomas Boleyn: Mark Rylance
George Boyleyn: Jim Sturgess
Katharine of Aragon: Ana Torrent
William Stafford: Eddie Redmayne
William Carey: Benedict Cumberbatch
Henry Percy: Oliver Coleman
Jane Parker: Juno Temple
Running time — 115 minutes
No MPAA rating

Comments are closed.

Current Projects
Avengers: Endgame
Role: Natasha Romanoff
Release Date: 2019
After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos' actions and restore order to the universe.

Marriage Story
Role: Nicole
Release Date: 2019
In the latest from Noah Baumbach (The Meyerowitz Stories, Frances Ha), a stage director (Adam Driver) and his actor wife (Scarlett Johansson) struggle through a gruelling, coast-to-coast divorce that pushes them to their personal and creative extremes.

Jojo Rabbit
Role: Rosie Betzler
Release Date: 2019
A World War II satire about a ten-year-old boy who, ridiculed by his peers and misunderstood by his mother, can't quite figure out how to fit in. As the naïve young German struggles to understand his place in an increasingly Fascist regime, he resorts to an imaginary friend (to be played by Taika) who can offer advice and help him cope.

Black Widow
Role: Natasha Romanoff
Release Date: May 1st, 2020
The plot is unknown at this time.

Apart EP
Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson
Out Now on All Music Stations

Apart EP
1) Iguana Bird - 3:38
2) Bad Dreams -3:24
3) Movies - 4:39
4) Cigarillo - 3:02
5)Tomorrow (feat. Scarlett Johansson) [Remix] Pete Yorn. - 3:15
Avengers Assemble

Modeling Projects
LUX China: 2015-2019
Lux Shampoo Ad

Huawei.: 2016 - 2017
Huawei P9. Phone Ad

Gif Of The Month

Made By Unknown
Cover Girl

Scarlett is featured on the cover of the November Issue of Elle Magazine promoting Jojo Rabbit and Marriage Story.
Johansson also felt an almost eerie sense of connection when Baumbach handed her the monologue over lunch in the fall of 2017.“It was the first piece Noah gave me, and it felt familiar somehow, but not because of what I’d been experiencing then,” says the actress, 34, who at the time was embroiled in her own separation, from French curator Romain Dauriac. “But maybe because of how I grew up, and the dynamic between my parents—or maybe because I’ve known women who’ve dedicated themselves to their partner’s vision and then come out of this decade-long relationship feeling almost like a ghost.” She adds that she, too, has been in that place, and that the truth in Nicole’s story was what excited her. “I didn’t hesitate at all, because I knew that I’d have the opportunity to say those words,” she says. “Noah gave me that monologue, and I was like, ‘Well, shit, come on.’ Am I going to be like, ‘Nah, I’m good—let some other actor have that’? No way.”
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