Directed: Edward Shearmurk
Starring: Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana
The two Boleyn sisters that were mistresses of Henry VIII, the king of England.
Henry VIII has always been an intriguing fellow. I knew he had many wives, he broke from the Catholic Church and starting his own religion in order to get a divorce, and Anne Boleyn was involved somehow. That is about all I could remember from high school history classes. I started watching The Tudors on Showtime last year, but only watched the first episode. The rest have been saved on TiVo since then while watching other things first. Going into this movie, I didn’t know what was real and what was historically inaccurate. I just went with what happened in the movie, but while watching it, I wondered how much of it was true. It made me go research what really happened, which most people might not do. It made me go learn history so I find that a good thing!
Scarlett Johansson is classically beautiful, but does a great job of playing a slightly pretty girl in the movie. Most of it comes from her acting. She plays Mary Boleyn as a diminutive young woman so unsure of herself and in her older sister’s shadow. She is fine with that role and really does not have the same ambitions as her older sister. She just wants a simple life in the country when she is thrust into becoming Henry’s mistress. I was most impressed with how she played her beauty down through her acting when she was shown as so vulnerable, before the camera would swing around to Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn who was so sure of herself. Portland was radiant and charming. Even though there really wasn’t much time for Henry to be introduced to Anne before he became obsessed with her, I could completely believe it based on how she carried herself.
As for Henry, Eric Bana was impressive as being so commanding in such ridiculous outfits that kings wore at the time. He also did a good job switching between being charming and so threatening when he became fed up with Anne’s games. I did laugh at how the movie seemed to make everything Anne’s fault at the end and Henry was shown as all “poor me” wondering how everything turned so crazy. I really think it was that last moment that made me want to go figure out what really happened since I didn’t buy it. It also made me want to start watching the Tudors again to get a much longer version of the same events since there is so much to know and it is interesting how people twist facts for books, movies, and television shows.