The Other Boleyn Girl

Movie Information

In Brief: This deadly dull Masterpiece Theatre-ish waxworks display came out in 2008 and quickly disappeared. It isn’t hard to understand why. Apart from a few “shocking” interjections of earthy dialogue, an array of truly tepid PG-13 sex scenes, a dose of 16th-century feminism and the absurdly bloodless beheadings, the film is dull, dull, dull. It’s the living embodiment of Alfred Hitchcock famously complaining that he didn’t like period pictures because he could never imagine the characters in them going to the bathroom. And the movie is not helped by the fact that we know where it’s going from the onset. Supposedly, it’s going to be the story of the “other” Boleyn girl, meaning Mary Boleyn (Scarlett Johansson). But it’s only that to the extent that Mary’s story (and the tension between her and her sister) sets the stage for Anne’s (Natalie Portman) ill-fated royal romance. All the court intrigue in the world can’t make this fresh, and the film’s insistence on a virtual cornucopia of characters who seem to exist for no other reason than to stand around on the edge of things and look concerned only makes it all a bit silly.
Genre: Historical Drama
Director: Justin Chadwick
Starring: Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana, Mark Rylance, Jim Sturgess
Rated: PG-13

The Hendersonville Film Society will show The Other Boleyn Girl Sunday, Nov. 29, at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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