Opened: February 29, 2008
Directed by: Justin Chadwick
Starring: Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana, Jim Sturgess, Kristin Scott Thomas, Mark Rylance, David Morrissey, Benedict Cumberbatch, Oliver Coleman, Ana Torrent, Eddie Redmayne & Juno Temple
With a captivating lead performance from Natalie Portman despite many historical inaccuracies, The Other Boleyn Girl is good for entertainment purposes though not much else.
As King Henry VIII’s (Eric Bana) marriage to Catherine of Aragon (Ana Torrent) fails to produce a male heir, he sets his sights on Mary (Scarlett Johansson) then Anne Boleyn (Portman). The sisters compete for his affection over a number of years.
From the very start, this story very loosely follows history and changes many aspects of its real-life characters. As the film continues, it has to speed through history resulting in little character development.
Portman is a joy to watch and plays Anne as smart and conniving. Bana barely has a role despite his importance and Johansson is bland and lifeless.
Final say: Lavish sets and costumes can’t distract from the inaccuracies. ★★☆☆☆