Gorgeous frocks and heaving bosoms are the main ingredients of this entertaining film disguised as historical fiction originally written by Philippa Gregory. Anne and Mary Boleyn (Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson) battle it out as sisters and rivals for the attention of a cockspangler Henry VIII (Eric Bana), one striving for love and the other for the throne.
Tudor life seems to full of running from one room to the other bed hopping and spending more time bathing than I was led to believe by my history tutor. The stakes are high though, to gain the king’s favour and to get the family’s Visa paid off, but then Anne ups the stakes and things start to spiral out of control.
With only a few idyllic shots of medieval England everything is set within lavish interiors lined with ermine and rich velvets, there are some grand interior scenes which make up for the poor CG recreations of olde towns and cities. The politics is clearly explained so the attention can go back to the love affairs and detailed shots that focus in on the stunning costumes.
“A romantic bed hopping historical drama, lavish in every way”
The soundtrack is quite classical in it’s style, with a few medieval riffs chucked in, but most of it is forgotten for the one main signature track that can be overbearing with it’s pretentious chords Director Justin Chadwick managed to keep the entire film on point without dribbling off on little tangents, and keeping this film so solid it is a shameless good fun that you can really get engrossed in, although I do feel that it’s aimed at viewers from overseas. Morgan’s adaptation strikes a perfect balance between seriousness and melodrama, and Portman really throws herself into the complex character of Anne.
I watch the film quite regularly, not only to enjoy the fine acting and to get caught up with the royal antics, but I just love to watch everyone crash and burn, everyone (literally) gets dismantled and smashed to bits by the end including the entire country and religious system. I don’t feel like I’m giving anything away here, we all know what becomes of Anne Boleyn, as the movie visually gets darker towards the end as everything starts to close around Anne, things get more dramatic and things end quite abruptly.
full review etc to come…