Tuesday 18th January 2022

The Other Boleyn Girl (12A)
Directed by: Justin Chadwick
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

Now I'm not a massive fan of period dramas, but if you put Natalie Portman and Scarlet Johansson in a film, I'll watch it. What's more, when they're done well, like Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility or 2005's Pride and Prejudice, I'll even enjoy it. However, I did not enjoy this weak attempt at historical drama.

Henry would often attempt to glue Anne's head back on after the execution
Henry would often attempt to glue Anne's head back on after the execution

The story focuses on the two Boleyn sisters, Mary and her older and more famous sister Anne. Anne, of course, goes on to marry King Henry VIII, but the story here is that Mary actually got in there first, leading to all kinds of sibling rivalry and tattered reputations.

Unfortunately, there is not much more to this film than the above paragraph describes. The film tears through the historical events at an incredible pace, never pausing to actually deal with any affairs of the state. It is solely focused on the relationship between the king and the sisters, and the speed things happen is quite unnecessary. One minute someone is pregnant, the next a baby is born. One minute the king is being pressed into breaking with the Roman Catholic Church, the next he is talking of his excommunication. These life changing events are skipped over in favour of watching the King of England crumbling under the childish mind games of Natalie Portman's Anne. It's all pretty unbelievable to be honest.

I suppose it might just be ok if we were forced to care about any of the characters, but they are all utterly without substance and uninteresting. So really, the only good thing I can say about this film is that the costumes are really well done. Give this one a wide berth.

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Length: 115 minutes
Certificate: 12A
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 7th March 2008

Top Five Rating: 40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0%40.0% (40.0%)
User Rating: 0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0% (0.0%)

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