Movie Review: The Other Boleyn Girl

I saw this movie with my sister and two year old nephew, who accompanies us to many morning, mid week sessions.  That kid is either going to be a movie reviewer or develop an unnatural relationship with popcorn, I swear. 
BTW, he LOVED Juno.

I had just finished reading The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory and was excited about stretching the book out that little bit more, as it ended rather quickly for me.  Also, seeing Natalie Portman, Eric Bana and Scarlett didn’t hurt.  My scriptwriting teacher, Felicity Packard (one of the brilliant writers on Underbelly) taught us to try to refrain from lumping a book and the movie version in together i.e. that movie isn’t as good as the book – to always try to remember that they are two distinct stories, written at two different times, often by different people, so like Chinese whispers they can’t be exactly the same.  Hardly ever, anyway. 

Clearly this movie could never follow the book too closely because there were many little conflicts and manipulations that were very detailed and too time consuming to tell filmically, so a more basic outline of the book was represented.  The costumes and scenery were glorious, although my sister wanted to know why, in the movies, it is necessary for riders to gallop urgently through the water on the beach rather than galloping on the wet sand.  But that’s my sister.  Always with the questions. Anyhoo….Eric smouldered, Natalie seduced and Scarlett was prettily catching flies as usual (an Aussie bush term for having your mouth open for no particular reason).  My sister found the story a little confusing, and I found myself wondering if it would have been better to leave this bit in or alter the sequence of that.  It wasn’t a rivetting movie, I didn’t find myself engaged and that had nothing to do with my nephew, Henry, feeding me popcorn that he’d already chewed on a bit.  And there was an obvious bit of plot jumping when Scarlett’s original husband simply disappears from the story with absolutely no explanation.  I’m sure they’ll realise it when they’re making the extras on the DVD – they’ll come across a Deleted Scene, and say ‘Oh, shit…didn’t we leave this in?’.  But, the film was very pretty on the big screen and interesting, although flawed, for those with an historical bent.

Henry preferred Juno, by far, and his Mum and me agree. The Other Boleyn Girl gets 6.5 out of 10 for me.

4 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Other Boleyn Girl

  1. I’ve just seen ‘Girl with the Pearl Earring’ on DVD for the 4th time and I would put TOBG on a par with it, for sure. Perfect for a rainy day, curl up on the couch with choccies type of movie.

  2. I liked this movie too. I guess they didn’t bother to explain but in those days if the King fancied your missus, you were expected to stand aside and not make a fuss.
    You might even think it was an honour that the King had picked your wife. In return you would be given estates and manors etc. As Sir William Carey was in debt at the time the affair started, he probably thought it was a fair trade!

  3. In case you think I’ve back in time this is the explanation of this late comment!
    Lavenderbay’s blog roll disappeared this morning so I googled you and when this page came up I assumed it was today’s. Oh well, better late than never!

  4. Jack’s Mom, you know you’re welcome to comment here any time, past or present! And if you get that time machine going, I hope there’ll be comments from you waiting for me in my future! 🙂

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