The Other Boleyn Girl: Film # 129 of Film 365

Monday 23rd January 2012

Director: Justin Chadwick
Year: 2008
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Eric Bana, Kristen Scott Thomas, Jim Sturgess, David Morrisey, Mark Rylance

As films go, The Other Boleyn Girl is watchable. It tells the story of Anne and Mary Boleyn, two sisters who get caught up in the world of Henry VIII. If you enjoy historical movies about real-life Kings and Queens, you'll probably be attracted to this.

And therein lies the problem. If you do enjoy this sort of thing, no doubt you'll have seen many movies/ TV shows about King Henry VIII already. This one doesn't really have anything new to offer. And if this is the first time you've tried watching something like this, you won't realise how factually inaccurate it is. It takes all the rumours and possible things that might have happened between Anne and Henry, and presents them all as fact (as well as just blatantly getting some things wrong). This appears to be intentional, as the book the movie is based on does claim to be a work of fiction. But it still annoyed me. The film doesn't explicitly state it's a work of fiction (except in the end credits), so it's likely you're going to believe what you're told if you don't know know any better - meaning you'll come away having learnt all the wrong things.

The Other Boleyn Girl could have been duller, but it could also have been more factually accurate, more engaging, and generally rather less frustrating.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.