Other Boleyn Girl, The
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: +2

Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jim Sturgess. Historical Drama. Written by Peter Morgan. Directed by Justin Chadwick.

FILM SYNOPSIS: The Other Boleyn Girl tells the story of two beautiful sisters, Anne (Natalie Portman) and Mary (Scarlett Johansson) Boleyn, who, driven by their familys blind ambition, compete for the love of the handsome and passionate King Henry VIII (Eric Bana). While both women eventually share the kings bed, only one will ascend to the throne for a brief and turbulent reign that ends tragically with a swing of the executioners sword.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Is it a sign of the times that the telling of English history must be done with a soap opera treatment and star two American babes in order to draw todays movie crowd? Okay, maybe calling Ms. Johansson and Ms. Portman babes is unfair. I like both and both are very talented. Short, but talented. And they are what hold this melodrama together. Without their intense effort, the script would become laughable. As it is, the screenplay is more like a condensed years worth of All My Children. Indeed, there are moments when Portmans Anne is more Erica Kane than historical figure.

Im sure Shakespeare took many themes from the tales of good King Henry. The life of the portly sovereign is not a mere page in history; its an entire set of annals. But as we have seen from other treatments (Anne of the Thousand Days, or Shakespeares play King Henry the Eighth), it was rife with decidedly dramatic detail. Here, its lavish, but lightweight. And while the eyes of the female leads constantly fill with tears, a true emotion never spills forth.

As we all know from high school history, or in my case, movies, Henry was a bit of a glutton. Before he was even done with his mutton leg, he was on the phone to Dominos. And when it came to the ladies, well, they were as disposable as finger-lickin good chicken bones. And because he feared excommunication for the act of divorce, he just had their heads whacked off. To further hedge his bets, he formed his own church, one that didnt frown so much on divorce or the whacking of wives.

The film is colorful, the attempt sincere, but I suspect the presentation will be more satisfying to devotees of daytime serials than students of history.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Columbia

Crude Language: A couple of crude sexual remarks
Obscene Language: A couple of minor expletives, but I caught no harsh or profane language.
Profanity: None
Violence: Well, its not shown in graphic detail, but Anne eventually meets the sharp end of an ax. Blood: Blood is seen to indicate miscarriages and we see the dead, bloodied body of Anne.
Sexual Intercourse: There are several sexual scenes, but to maintain a PG-13, none of them are overly graphic; desperate to have a boy child, Anne suggests incest with her brother; this is not committed, but perceived to have been committed.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: A few sexual conversations.
Drug Abuse: Drinking
Other: None
Running Time: 115 minutes
Intended Audience: Older Teens and Adults

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