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THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL by Justin Chadwick


Sir Thomas Boleyn (Mark Rylance) has two daughters, Ann (Natalie Portman) and Mary (Scarlett Johansson), and he has ambitions for his family. The benign Mary is married to a merchant, but for the more ambitious Ann Sir Thomas and his brother have other plans. They want her to beguile King Henry (Eric Bana) and improve their family’s status by positioning Ann as his mistress. The king’s marriage with Katherine of Aragon (Ana Torrent) is still childless, and when Ann can bear him a son, the family’s fortune will be made.
But the king falls for Mary instead, who doesn’t want to go to the king’s court but can’t withstand King Henry’s wish and the pressure of her father and her uncle. Despite her initial reluctance, Mary can’t resist the King’s courting for long and even falls in love with him. But when she gets pregnant, Henry loses his interest in her, and Ann, who has learned how to tease and fascinate a man in France, seizes her chance.

A historical drama (but not an epic), The Other Boleyn Girl concentrates on the fortunes and misfortunes of two sisters (Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman) and their ever-changing relationships to each other, their family and King Henry VIII. Traded like cattle for the advancement of men by their father and uncle, both sisters still develop strong personalities and try hard to follow their own path. Treachery, intrigues, love, hate and ambitions determine the fates of the unequal sisters, and both actresses use the opportunity to convince. Scarlett Johansson is touching as the modest, pure Mary who knows her place but is so much stronger than she seems – she is able to forgive the inexcusable and to fight like a lioness when necessary. And Natalie Portman is better than ever as the prickteasing Ann who wants to fly too high and has to pay dearly for her unlimited ambitions and overestimation of her capabilities.
The supporting roles are acted in varying grades of quality, but camerawork, set decoration and costumes will not disappoint.
Overall, The Other Boleyn Girl is a worthy “prequel” to Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn  Scarlett Johansson is Mary Boleyn 
A short time of love and happyness for Mary Boleyn (Scarlett Johansson) and King Henry (Eric Bana)  The Boleyn Girls: Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson 

Scarlett Johansson at the London premiere of The Other Boleyn Girl

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