Friday, February 29, 2008

DNfromMN - Movie Review - The Other Boleyn Girl

THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL

Release Date: 2/29/08

The Story: Sisters Anne (NatPo) and Mary (ScarJo) Boleyn seduce King Henry VIII (ErBan), and plot to give him his male heir.When it ended, I turned to darling boyfriend and said that even the costumes were bad. He said, “I’d probably had enjoyed it more if I weren’t so tired.” I disagreed, even my 60 oz of Cherry Coke barely kept me in it. Apparently I wasn’t alone, there was one sole clapper in the audience – and it was half-hearted. I live in Minnesota, land of the clap; where we clap at even mediocre things on stage, and we clap at the movies.

I haven’t written a scathing review in awhile, because it’s mean. There’s usually something to like. Hmm… I think Eric Bana looks hot with a beard and a full head of hair. There. I said something nice.Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson had decent British accents. Ok, there are two things.

The colors were lush and gorgeous, kudos to the cinematographer. All hail the cinematographer for keeping this movie alive. That and they showed Scarlett looking very plain-jane more than half the time, and it made me think about how pretty plain can be. Ok. That’s all I liked about it.

I have problems with movies where people are conniving with no redeeming qualities: meet Anne Boleyn. (I like movies where people are conniving, and are intelligent and/or charming: go see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels). I have problems with characters who in a serious drama are so completely stupid and idealistic that they are saps: meet Mary Boleyn. I hate watching women tear each other down. I guess that comes to the heart of my problems with the story of this. I didn’t like the characters, and I hate backstabbing. I didn’t want either of them to succeed, and kinda hoped Anne would lose her head a little sooner.
So the costumes: This is the one thing you can always look forward to in a period piece, look at the lush costumes. The things that weren’t stolen directly from paintings (again, thank you cinematographer for lighting them exactly right), were full of really bad and modern patterns which looked out of place and were distracting. Even Elizabeth: The Golden Age had good costumes (and that was a crummy movie, too).

I guess I feel bad about Eric Bana. He’s a good looking dude, a good actor, and by all accounts a nice person. He just hasn’t had a hit movie in awhile, and this will probably flop, too. He’s only in this movie maybe 30 of the 120 minutes. And has less than 5 lines per scene, and not in the pensive Clive Owen way.

What it’s worth: I’m gonna go with 50 cents. It’s pretty to watch, but other than catching it between flipping channels I could have gone without seeing it. It’s a romance novel about women being cruel to each other. I didn’t read the book, so I don’t know how much was from it. My guess is, I probably wouldn’t have liked the book either.

15 comments:

butterfly said...

DNfromMN, how do you get to see all these movies before they're released? Just wondering.

Twisted Sister said...

Feel bad for Phillipa Gregory. How Hollywood can take a great book like "No Country for Old Men" and make it into an award winning movie, and then screw up so many other books turned into movies, is a mystery. I think in most cases the movie disappoints, following a great book.

heather said...

It's a true story. The book was great and I'm a huge Tudors fan so I'll probably see this as well. Two sisters who took 'all's fair in love and war' to the limits and I always find real life more interesting than fiction.

Sylvia said...

I heard Tudors is a great show. For some reason I can't get into it.

The trailer for the Boleyan Girl even thought of going to see it.

each of the two said...

odd, the book was so good.

just proves that books are always better...

(Phillipa Gregory's other books are great too.)

DNfromMN said...

butterfly - usually through radio stations. This one actually came through my book club, though. It was weird, they contacted a lot of larger book clubs in the area and offered the tickets. And once you get on the lists for these places, they sometimes just email you out of the blue. There was a screening for Stop-Loss last night, too, that I should've gone to instead. :)

heather said...

I loved Gregory's book as well and will see this movie. The script is by Peter Morgan who wrote the screenplays for The Queen and The Last King of Scotland.

childeroland said...

From the Anne Boleyn biographies I've read, the reasons for Henry offing his wife seem murky and the incest/witchcraft charges against her were trumped up (as Gregory herself says in one of her later novels). It looks like he thought Anne would never produce a male heir, which he desperately wanted, and he had begun to see Jane Seymour, who some historians believe may have contributed to pushing the king to get rid of Anne. Many of the reviews I've read complain the film tries to have historical gravitas and soap opery fun; but without more than two hours to outline the whole story and the mystery surrounding why Henry suddenly seemed to turn on Anne, this might have proved too difficult for the filmmakers. Just a guess.

brendalove@gmail.com said...

Looks like a threesome to me.

Sweater said...

As someone who is spoiled by the DVD, ability to find plenty of things on cable and *cough* torrents(not me. My friends. You wouldn't know them, they live in Canada), I must say a movie has to literally threaten to knock your socks off before I or my SO would consider going to see it. I think it's because the last two times we went to movies the people sitting around us had very young (and cranky) children and loud (and drunk) teenagers, respectively.
This is why I love reading your reviews DNfromMN. I feel like I get the good stuff while waiting to watch it at home. Cheers to you, thanks from this movietheaterphobe.

And helllllllllllloooooooo Eric Bana.

nycer said...

twisted I agree w/ you that in most cases the movie disappoints, following a great book. But in this case I'd have to see it to know. Loved her book, her take on history and I really admire Peter Morgan's work too. I think you'd need a strong director for this material and as a viewer you'd have to appreciate period pieces and the times.

nothingsacred said...

I haven't really seen anyting with Eric Bana that I have been impressed with.
Maybe I just have high standards. IDK.
I had no desire to see this film, even on dvd. Though I like Natalie Portman, I'm just not interested in time pieces.

Nothing in the theater right now that I'd shell $10/ticket out to see.

Twisted Sister said...

Nycer, I'm still planning on seeing it, but I'll wait until Netflix offers it. ;-)

mngddess said...

When I read "I come from Minnesota, the land of the clap", my mind went in a TOTALLY different direction.......

Sorry, D. I need to get out more.

Jerry said...

Is Eric Bana grabbing a handful of Natalie Portman's left breast on the poster or is that just wishful thinking on my part?