Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Movie Review: "The Other Boleyn Girl"

Who's in It: Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana

What It's About: Anne and Mary Boleyn battle for the love of Henry VIII.

What I Was Expecting: Besides the historical inaccuracy of the previous statement, I really had no expectations. It was written by the same guy who wrote “The Queen” and “The King of Scotland”.

What I Got: Oh, Lord. Where do I start? Natalie Portman's back and forth between English aristocrat and Cockney accents? The mind-numbingly short scenes? The BIG laughs from the audience during scenes that should have been heartbreaking? (Note to wannabe filmmakers: incest in dramas shouldn't draw massive guffaws from the viewer.) The Portman comment pretty much speaks for itself. The brevity of the scenes was something that I noticed right off the bat. It was making me crazy to the point that about 10 minutes into the film, I actually started counting how many lines were in each scene. Here's a typical scene: Character #1 says something, usually a question. Character #2 responds with something significant to the plot. And...scene. For the curious, the longest scene I counted was 13 lines, during the trial of Anne Boleyn, and 12 of the lines were “GUILTY!”(sorry for spoiling the movie for those who slept through history class who didn't know Henry VII had 6 more wives after Anne.) As far as the laughs go, yeah, the incest scene really did not work. Anne's life was on the line and didn't see any other choice. She had just lost Henry's potential heir and needed to get pregnant fast. So why NOT turn to your brother? At that point, I started to wonder, “Is this MEANT to be funny?” I really don't think it was, but much like a lot of other dramatic moments in the film, it was met with much laughter. So if BAD movies make you break out in hysterics, this just might be the film for you.

Grade: D

Oscar Potential: Zero. Might even get some razzie consideration.

Five Random Thoughts:

  1. ADCD: Attention Deficit Costume Drama. It's like watching an adaptation of the Table of Contents of the Cliff's Notes of the book.

  2. I'm not sure if getting Portman or Johansson to go nude would've helped, but it sure as hell wouldn't have hurt.

  3. The best line during the film: the woman behind me during Anne's beheading, “You know, I think this might be a true story.” The woman was around 45.

  4. The second best line: Me to my wife as Anne is pouring a glass of water before climbing into bed with her brother, “Honey, I think you're gonna need something a lot stronger than that.”

  5. Funny how after Eric Bana's bed scene with Johansson, he actually looks bored in the film.

Trailer Park:

Made of Honor – I'm not all that big on the McDreamy chick flicks, but this one looks pretty funny.

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