Since reading a book of the same title by Philippa Gregory last year, I have been fascinated not only by the correct depiction of the historical facts, but also to see the costuming for the 16th century. So I was anxiously awaiting the movie on big screen.
If your history needs a bit of a brush-up on the facts surrounding King Henry VIII and/or Anne Bolyen, this site The Monarch succinctly displays information pertaining to that era.
If you want a professional movie review, visit Rotten Tomatoes for all the background movie information, including the cast of stars.
But what I was panting to see was the costumes. And I desired the entertainment element of viewing on screen the bizarre facts of how Henry VIII split with the Catholic church and forever changed the face of English history.
The golden hues of pastoral settings and vivid, metallic colors in the women’s gowns and Henry’s attire were, indeed, lovely. And I was impressed how accurately all the known facts were crammed into a two hour movie.
I did crave feasting my eyes on more banquet scenes and the food of the period. Only two rich background shots, one of roasting meats and one camera-hurried dinner at court, were all the viewer was served for food eye candy; even those shots were miserly portioned out by the film editors.
Thank Heavens for NetFlix where I can again see the movie and frame-stop those two quick scenes!
Also, I was disappointed in the portrayal of Henry himself. Instead of the curmudgeonly, portly, syphilitic older man that he must have been at the time these events occurred, The King was represented by this hunka-hunka guy Eric Bana who was young enough to be my son. Really, I am not ancient, but the guy was no old, bad toothed, probably odiforous, overweight monarch, either. He (Eric Bana) was HOT!
Portmann and Johansson were lovely (sniff). In my humble opinion, it was Catherine of Aragon, Wife #1, (Kristin Scott Thomas) who was the true star. How could one's sympathies and heart not go out to this sweetly portrayed, once beloved by her husband, saintly, elegant yet soon displaced wife?
If you want another viewpoint (and male oriented), read what my husband thought of the movie in his post today: Chicks Flick.