The Other Boleyn Girl

Director: Justin Chadwick
Year Released: 2008
Rating: 1.0

Every once in a while I will actually wonder why a movie was even made in the first place (particularly since the BBC adapted the Philippa Gregory book in 2003), and this is another one of those times: was this to pair up Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman (improbably as the Boleyn sisters)? To present a more 'feminist approach' - if you could even call it that - to history (if so, Henry VIII is a rather unimaginative target)? Is it because of the Elizabeth films (with Cate Blanchett)? Or even because of the floundering literary world's fascination with flat historical novels? This certainly lacks any kind of drive or passion, glumly shuffling towards the gallows; Johansson gets the easy task of appearing pure and innocent, leaving it to Portman to try to be devious and manipulative (while Eric Bana, as Henry VIII, pulls off the Stern Ruler routine). And though Natalie tries really, really hard, it's clear she's trying.