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TOP 100 MOVIES in 2008!
Directed by Justin Chadwick
A sumptuous and sensual tale of intrigue, romance and betrayal set against the backdrop of a defining moment in European history: two beautiful sisters, Anne and Mary Boleyn, driven by their family's blind ambition, compete for the love of the handsome and passionate King Henry VIII.
A true-tale period piece, made with a limited budget, from a best selling novel by Philippa Gregory, with a screenplay written by Peter Morgan (The Queen, The Last King of Scotland) and featuring two the other finest young actresses working today in Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson.
This was a film I was very much interested in seeing. And overall I think it succeeded and was a very entertaining tale. What makes films like these work is that it tells a unique story about past lives while also presenting the same emotions and important themes that take place in present day -- and this film accomplished this task.
Almost 90% of this film is shot on the main characters in medium closeups or full on closeups. There are no grand epic shots that usually exist in a film like this as we the audience watch the film through the eyes of the two main characters -- sisters Mary (Scarlett Johansson) and Anne (Natalie Portman) living in the maddening world of the 16th century and contending for the affection of King Henry VIII as they have been pimped out by their scheming, ambitious father, Sir Thomas (a sad Mark Rylance).
I overheard someone leaving the theatre that Jane and Mary Boleyn are the Paris and Nicky Hilton of the Tudor court. That was a interesting observation and perhaps true. If Nicky and Paris lived in this time, they would probably be influenced and forced to do exactly what Anne and Mary did.
What shines in this film is the performances of Portman and Johansson who both have the faces to evoke tons of emotion while also being very easy on the eyes. Portman's character is self-deluded treachery to Johansson's gentle supplicant nature. Both girls seem to be ahead of their time in this world while the men seem to be very-much behind on the current trends that will take place. Unfortunately it was very much a man's world and no matter how many gifts a woman had, they would be forced to be the slaves to the men who rule the world.
This is a film for all woman to see as it's themes are universal for today and there's some education in this film while also being entertained getting it too!
3 out of 4 stars!