Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

Shannon: The minute I learned Eric Bana would be the King in this movie, I bought the book to read it beforehand....that was a year ago and sadly I must report that I only finished 250 pages before seeing the movie. :( I am not one of those people who always likes a book better than a movie--I can usually appreciate them independently. And that is pretty much the sitch w/the OBG.

Overall, I rank this movie a 7.

3 reasons why it wasn't a 5:
1) The costumes were soooooooooo amazing! The sets & props (including horses) were interesting to look at and it seemed very appropriate for 16th century England (but Christy will have to be the real judge on this issue).
2) The Boleyn children TRULY delivered! Scarlett was the weakest (but the girl just plain can't act--so knowing that--it wasn't such a bad effort)....the other 2 were fab!
3) The ending had a happy resolve. I don't need everything to be happy and rosy--but it must at least feel resolved--and I loved the way this one ended.

3 reasons why it wasn't a 10:
1) There wasn't enough of Eric Bana (duh! when you have someone like that--why wouldn't you put him in every scene? :)
2) It moved sooooooo fast--even after reading some of the book I felt it was a bit difficult to connect or like the characters.
3) There wasn't any good music. They missed a great opportunity here to incorporate some rockin' tracks for the jousting, and some amazing "take my breath away" ballads during the naughty stuff.

Hillary: I would have to agree with much of what Shannon said, I would give the movie a 6 or 7 . The scenery and castles were beautiful to look at (was it just me or was it REALLY brown for England? I've been there in the winter and it was still very green and lush, I almost didn't believe they filimed :) this on the English Countryside). I DID read the book in about a week before the movie and the book is completley FAB. It is probably one of my top 10 fiction favs so if you are going to choose, read the book!

The OBG tried to hard to hit all of the events, they should've narrowed their focus a bit so we could savor the relationships and the emotions. I loved Natalie Portman's performance she makes an excellent biotch, Scarlet was actually very sweet as Mary and she is the exact visual equivilent to my Mary in the book. I was VERY disappointed that they left George's character out of the movie so much. First of all because I LOVE Jim Sturgess as much as Eric Bana (but who are we kidding, this movie is about the ladies) but also because that relationship was so pivotal, tender, and twisted. The opening and closing scenes with the children playing in the field was beautiful and an effective way of portraying the bond between the three Boelyns without giving the history.

The music was a downer (that is a HUGE part of the experience for me), I have posted the song I recommend for the last scene as Ann is getting her due and Mary is going to get the children at the castle, you can imagine her emotions as she must be devasted and relieved because of the love/hate relationship with Ann and she knows she will be free from threats to her children, etc. I LOVE when historical movies feature modern music it's the juxtaposition of the old and the new (I was dying to use that word somehow :) that enhances the emotion of the moment when the head comes off!!!

Christy: The Other Boleyn Girl? I give it a 4. While I completely agree with Shannon- Eric Bana should be in every frame- I thought the movie was slow. Or maybe I it was boring for me because I just kept thinking, "When is Eric Bana going to come back?" I think Scarlett Johansson also contributed to the boring element- she still hasn't quite convinced me she is any good. On the the other hand, Natalie Portman was good as a conniving Anne Boleyn. And Eric? Sigh. He is too good for the part written for him!

While the tawdry details are mostly true, the history teacher in me wanted to remind the audience that it was in Henry's best interest to break from the Catholic Church. The English never liked those Italian popes in their business. Besides, think of all that money that Henry could get when he confiscated all the church land!

The costumes were excellent and I thought that showing how precarious life for a woman was at that time was the best thing about The Other Boleyn Girl. Even if a woman was wealthy, it did not save her from being a pawn in the greedy games of men. It was a little hard to believe that a man as powerful and arrogant as Henry VIII would have let himself be manipulated by someone like Anne. As a woman, was I supposed to be proud of Anne's manipulation of a king? Well, no matter how I feel about it, Anne certainly paid the price.


Vanessa said...

What a great blog! You and Shannon are always so great about analyzing movies and music and showing such passion about both (and big words, hi juxtaposition). While I was glad to attend this movie with you I should have had a Christy give me a history refresher before we went. I vaguley remember learning about Henry VIII and it all came back to me during the movie. So here is my meager attempt: I liked it, I enjoy period movies and am always fascinated by the costuming. I agree w/Shannon, it did move a little fast and she had to explain to us later that it took years and years for all this to happen. I wasn't disappointed spending my $$ on this movie and I enjoyed the company as well! :)

PS, Scarlett bugs as well! I enjoyed Natalie and ESPECIALLY Eric during the love scenes!

Paris Soul Mate said...

Loving the blog! Haven't seen it, but what is with all the Scarlett haters out there? I think she is great (Matchpoint anyone?). Maybe she pays a price starring in a role next to Natalie Portman who is the best of her generation.

I am torn, see it in theaters or add it to my Netflix queue?? Remember, I pay 10Euro, so $15 for a movie.

Shannon said...

Sina--spend your money on Juno instead if/when these movies get to Paris. Or I'll watch it w/you this summer on vid. The King is worth the $4 rental!! Scarlet just sucks, if you ask me. Honestly I think she's painful to watch! Please see Scoop and then we can discuss more. :) Vanessa I love your to the point review--very helpful for some I am sure!