sisterly rivalry of Mary and Anne Boleyn who were ordered by their ambitious
family to seduce the King of England. Mary (Scarlett Johansson) is served up
first and she falls for the King but he grows bored with her when Anne's
flirting draws him away. She dares to deny him something nobody else has
ever done. He is intrigued and Mary is forgotten and Anne (Natalie Portman)
will make herself Queen Consort.
But too quickly Henry's love for Anne turns to distaste. Mary can only watch
as Anne achieves the ultimate prize only for it to all fall away from her.
King Henry (Eric Bana) broods and his moods change at the drop of a hat.
This is an enjoyable bodice ripping tale. This film despite being nominally
about Mary is really all about Anne. She gets all the best scenes: her
hilarious flirting with Henry, the tearful birth of Elizabeth, her
miscarriage and of course the execution. Mary can only watch knowing Henry
denied clemency and that Anne's own ambition brought her to this moment.
The film bears little resemblance to the book or history as about 15 years
of historical turmoil seems to take place in about a month of on screen
time. The great political and religious upheaval happen off-screen. As does
the death of Mary's first husband and Queen Katherine. Jane Seymour only
appears in a non speaking cameo. Still this is very entertaining.