Color, Pageantry Can't Save 'Boleyn Girl' Morning Edition's film critic reviews The Other Boleyn Girl. The movie is based on Philippa Gregory's best-selling novel, set in 16th-century England. At that time, Henry VIII was king — and Anne Boleyn was looking to replace his queen.
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Color, Pageantry Can't Save 'Boleyn Girl'

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Color, Pageantry Can't Save 'Boleyn Girl'

Review

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Color, Pageantry Can't Save 'Boleyn Girl'

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RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

L.A. Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has this review.

KENNETH TURAN: "The Other Boleyn Girl" has ideas above its station. It's not content to be a diverting royal bodice ripper, and so it spirals out of control into overwrought melodrama. Eric Bana, exercising his divine right to be a smoldering hunk, plays the king. Natalie Portman plays the flirtatious vamp, Anne.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL")

MONTAGNE: (As King Henry VII) Good morning, Anne. Who will you ride with?

MONTAGNE: (As Anne Boleyn) On my own, your grace. There's a new saddle now which allows this.

MONTAGNE: (As King Henry) But with no man to hold onto, how do you propose to stay on the horse?

MONTAGNE: (As Anne) As you do, your grace, with my thighs.

TURAN: This version of the tale emphasizes that it was Anne's kinder, gentler sister Mary, played by Scarlett Johansson, who was the first of the two Boleyn women to, as they say, share the king's bed, which really irritates Anne.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL)

MONTAGNE: (Anne) All I know is the man didn't know who you were, was with you in that room for half an hour and came out besotted. Don't know what you said or did.

MONTAGNE: (As Mary Boleyn) Nothing, sister, except to sing your praises and talk about my husband.

MONTAGNE: Really? Well, you must show me how you did that sometime.

TURAN: With lots of pounding hoofbeats, flying banners and royal stridings through stately halls, "The Other Boleyn Girl" gets points for color and pageantry. But lines like, It costs a fortune to get this house ready for a royal visit, don't help things. And just when "The Other Boleyn Girl" should be picking up steam, the storytelling turns off-putting and glum. By the time Anne's fed up sister tells her, I've seen enough, we have as well.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Kenneth Turan reviews movies for MORNING EDITION and The Los Angeles Times. You can see a scene from "The Other Boleyn Girl" at npr.org/movies.

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