Friday 28 January 2011

The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) - Justin Chadwick

115 minutes of fictionalised, sexed-up history with a bit of Natalie Portman thrown in.

This Tudor love-in is a darker take on the tropes of the heritage genre: incest, love triangles, adultery, deceit, manipulative fathers, a pompous script, lavish costumes and, here, an all-star cast of foreigners playing a bunch of romping, horny English monarchs.

It’s all highly romanticised and melodramatic for what is, essentially, a narrative about sex, be it subtle seduction in public, or intense, secret meetings behind closed doors.  But which Boleyn girl will the King choose to lie with on a permanent basis?  Which can provide him with the son he desires?  Why, the dark-haired sexy one of course.  Portman’s preparation for Black Swan?  I think not.

Anyone who paid attention in history class will know the outcome of the film’s events.  Instead, the obvious attractions of the protagonists will just about hold your interest.  Just.


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