Cast: Eric Bana, Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson
Director: Justin Chadwick
Script: Peter Morgan
Rated: PG-13, for sexuality and some violent images
The Tudor dynasty ruled England from 1485 to 1603. And Hollywood, which has ruled the North American film industry throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, has committed itself to making a movie about the Tudor royals every year. Well, it at least seems that way. The Other Boleyn Girl is the latest film about the British dynasty to hit the big screen.
The film is based on the popular book from author Phillipa Gregory. Prompted by their father and uncle, two sisters, Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman), and Mary (Scarlett Johansson), attempt to broaden their family’s scope of power by winning the affections of England’s King Henry VIII (Eric Bana). The women compete for his love and do everything in their power to give the king the son that Queen Katherine couldn’t provide him.
Even though the film has all the necessary qualities to be an epic film, it doesn’t quite achieve that status. Johansson and Portman just aren’t as convincing as Cate Blanchett was in her role as Queen Elizabeth I in the movies Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. As for Bana, the Australian actor can’t seem to stop playing Bruce Banner from Hulk with those exaggerated angry looks.
To be fair, the film gets better as it goes on, becoming more interesting when we realize that the story is basically just talking about what happened before the reign of Elizabeth I. Oscar-nominated writer Peter Morgan ( The Queen) did a fine job writing the script. The movie’s real problem is director Justin Chadwick, who doesn’t have much experience in the field, and ended up creating a production more theatrical than cinematic.