Friday, June 27, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

This film was a real bodice-ripper. It was also a real history-page-ripper.

Oh, God. I can't even pretend to suspend disbelief here. Bad history. Bad acting. Bad dialogue. Nice costumes.

You'd think with Eric Bana, Scarlett Johansson, and Natalie Portman, you'd get something a little edgier. I'm so sorry. They all called it in on some 16th-century version of a cell phone.

There's nothing really wrong with the film, at least on the surface. The pacing is a bit slow but not ponderous. I suppose we should be caught up in the court intrigue, as the Boleyn men try to set up one daughter, and then the other, with the king known for his voracious appetites. But we're not. The set is wonderfully constructed, but in murky browns there's nothing here to hold the eye. Perhaps the most beautiful thing in the movie is Natalie Portman's outfits, or Johansson's hair. But it's not enough.

Bana is a king who's a brooder, who has a temper, but he doesn't look like the red-haired king, and doesn't have the extra weight one presumed Henry carried around. He was more convincing in the Hulk, and much more colorful.

This was supposed to be the duelling sisters, and I guess it is that. But there's no caring for either one of them when the whole thing is through, history or not.

Do yourself a favor and pass this one up.

Thumb's down.


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