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"THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL"
(2008) (Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Moderate Extreme Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Moderate None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy None Extreme Heavy Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Two 16th century sisters react in different ways to being the object of affection for the King of England, all as their uncle tries to manipulate that to better the family's fortunes.
PLOT:
It's the 16th century and things aren't looking good for the British monarchy. The Queen, Katherine of Aragon (ANA TORRENT), has just miscarried, meaning the King, Henry Tudor (ERIC BANA), grows increasingly impatient to have a male heir for this throne.

Fortunately for him, The Duke of Norfolk (DAVID MORISSEY) sees an opportunity when it arises. Realizing the King will probably seek out a mistress, The Duke decides he should position his niece, Anne Boleyn (NATALIE PORTMAN), in the King's line of sight, and arranges for a royal visit to their manor.

Anne's parents, Thomas (MARK RYLANCE) and Lady Elizabeth (KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS), along with their only son, George (JIM STURGESS), aren't crazy about the idea, which also holds true for Anne. But since her younger sister, Mary (SCARLETT JOHANSSON), has already gotten married, and with the Duke saying such an arrangement could lead to her own high-level wedding as well as other payoffs for the family, Anne agrees.

Unfortunately for her, a hunting accident leads to Mary tending to the King who instantly becomes smitten with her. Accordingly, her summons her, Mary and their family to court. That obviously draws the suspicion of both the Queen and her lady-in-waiting, Jane Parker (JUNO TEMPLE). Things become more complicated when Mary reports to her parents and uncle that Anne has secretly married Henry Percy (OLIVER COLEMAN). Realizing such a scandal could ruin their plans, the Duke sends Anne off to France, all while hoping that Mary will end up pregnant by the king and thus deliver him a boy.

From that point on, and as the King tires of waiting for just that and thus becomes enticed by Anne and others, the sisters must deal with their continually strained relationship in their high-profile game of trying to upstage and/or bring down each other.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Those who are fans of anyone in the cast or of period, costume melodramas might be interested.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For mature thematic elements, sexual content and some violent images.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • NATALIE PORTMAN plays the oldest, more outgoing and provocative of the Boleyn sisters who agrees to be the King's lover in exchange for a future, high-profile husband. When the King chooses Mary instead, Anne is angry, especially when Mary reports Anne's subsequent secret marriage that gets her sent off to France. When she returns, she sets out to steal the King away from Mary no matter what the cost, as well as make herself the Queen, also at whatever cost that might incur for her, her family, and her country. Desperate late in the story to be pregnant for the king, she suggests her brother impregnate her, but he decides he can't.
  • SCARLETT JOHANSSON plays her more subdued sister who just wants a simple but happy life in the country. That's upended when the King sets his sights on her, and when she then falls for and bears him children. She must then contend with Anne arriving back on the scene and plotting to steal him away from her.
  • ERIC BANA plays the King of England who desperately wants a male hair, is prone to affairs, including with both Boleyn sisters, even while married to the Queen. His lust and infidelity eventually changes his country forever.
  • JIM STURGESS plays Anne and Mary's brother, who isn't pleased with a marriage arranged for him with Jane, and must contend with all that transpires between his sisters and the monarchy.
  • MARK RYLANCE plays the girls' father who's initially against the paramour plan involving them, but then agrees, bending before his brother-in-law's influence.
  • KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS plays his wife who's against the plan from the start, and thus obviously isn't surprised or pleased about the way things develop.
  • DAVID MORISSEY plays her brother, who uses the girls' sexuality and fertility as a means of improving the family's standing in royal and other high circles, without caring about any of the consequences.
  • ANA TORRENT plays the Queen of England, distraught over her inability to produce a male heir for the king. She must then contend with his infidelity and then his desire to divorce her for Anne, no matter the repercussions. She stands up against him, but has the deck stacked against her.
  • OLIVER COLEMAN plays a man who secretly marries Anne.
  • JUNO TEMPLE plays her lady in waiting who becomes frustrated by the lack of sex in her arranged marriage to George.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this PG-13 rated drama. Profanity consists of a handful of minor expletives, while some colorful phrases are also uttered. Various instances of non-explicit, sexually related dialogue are present, as is the sight of several sexual encounters (with some slight movement, lots of close camera shots, sensuality, etc.), while a rape also occurs. Some partial nudity (breasts) is also present.

    Beyond that rape, several people are separately beheaded (the impact is heard and not seen), but the very distant aftermath of one is viewed, while those scenes (and the moments leading up to the executions) might be unsettling and/or suspenseful to viewers.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while all sorts of tense family material is present. Drinking also occurs in several scenes.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's brief lightning during a storm.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts of camera movement (including bouncy handheld) in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People have what's presumably wine at a celebration.
  • The Duke of Norfolk pours some wine.
  • People have what's presumably wine with a meal.
  • People have what may be wine at a dance.
  • Henry has some sort of drink.
  • The Duke of Norfolk has wine.
  • Henry and others have wine with a dinner.
  • Henry holds a goblet (presumably containing something alcoholic).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Mary states that her new husband got up at night to use the "piss pot" next to the bed.
  • We see a cleaver chopped down into some raw meat (in silhouette), as well as some brief skinning of an animal for food preparation.
  • We see various cuts and scrapes on Henry's arm following an unseen fall.
  • We hear the end sound of Mary vomiting or just spitting into a canister (from morning sickness).
  • We see a little bit of blood on the sheets from Mary, but then hear that she didn't miscarry.
  • Anne has a miscarriage and reacts in horror at looking under the bed covers. We don't see anything (beyond a little blood on the back of her gown, later), but she summons her siblings, and tells her brother to get rid of it.
  • A woman is executed via beheading with a sword. We hear but don't see the impact, but do see a very distant view of the body and severed head on the execution platform, as well as a pool of blood on that.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The Duke of Norfolk uses both of his nieces' sexuality as expendable means to try to further enrich their family's name and fortune. He's constantly manipulating events without worrying about the people involved.
  • Anne tells Mary to try to please Henry, adding the sexual dig: "If you can."
  • Henry cheats on Katherine by having a fling with Mary, including impregnating the latter.
  • Mary cheats on her new husband by having a sexual fling with Henry, and has no problem when Henry sends away her husband to get him out of the picture.
  • When he learns of Anne's secret marriage (via Mary snitching on her), The Duke overrules it and then sends her off to live in France.
  • The Duke of Norfolk isn't happy when Mary goes on bed rest for her pregnancy, stating that the King won't be bedding her in that state. Thus, he realizes they need a distraction, and accordingly brings Anne back from France for that purpose.
  • Despite her bearing him a son, Henry forgoes Mary for Anne. At the same time, and despite that newborn, Anne moves in on Henry and manipulates things so that she'll have him and more.
  • In order to meet Anne's demands, Henry puts Katherine on trial, hoping to be granted a divorce from her.
  • Tired of waiting, Henry grabs Anne and proceeds to rape her from behind (no nudity, but some slight thrusting, and her crying in shock over this sudden development).
  • Anne convinces/manipulates Henry to break with the Vatican in order to divorce Katherine and marry her.
  • The Duke of Norfolk conspires with Jane to keep Henry engaged with the family.
  • Afraid to tell Henry that she miscarried, Anne wants her brother to have sex with her, hoping she'll become pregnant again (and thus save her in the eyes of the King). He doesn't want to, yet they nearly do, but he then changes his mind.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • We see a procession carrying a clothed body on a gurney (we see the boots) and hear that it's Henry (initially thinking he's dead), but then hear/see that beyond some scrapes and a bruised ego, he's okay.
  • We hear Mary screaming from labor pains.
  • Tired of waiting, Henry grabs Anne and proceeds to rape her from behind (no nudity, but some slight thrusting, and her crying in shock over this sudden development).
  • Anne screams from labor pains.
  • A man's head is placed in an execution block, an ax is raised, and he's beheaded. We don't see the act, but do hear it, as well as the sound of the severed head bouncing away.
  • A woman is executed via beheading with a sword. We hear but don't see the impact, but do see a very distant view of the body and severed head on the execution platform, as well as a pool of blood on that.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • A man's head is placed in an execution block, an ax is raised, and he's beheaded. We don't see the act, but do hear it, as well as the sound of the severed head bouncing away.
  • A woman is executed via beheading with a sword. We hear but don't see the impact, but do see a very distant view of the body and severed head on the execution platform, as well as a pool of blood on that.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What, have me bed him instead?" "Did he have you?" "Wedded and bedded," "Whoring in public with an adulterer," "Damn you," "Bastard" and "You witch."
  • Some teens might be enticed to try the sexual manipulation behavior that Anne practices.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful and heavily dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 damns and 1 use each of "By God" and "Oh Lord."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see a partial (and partially obscured) side view of Mary's bare breast while she's being bathed and then dressed (we also see her bare back).
  • The Duke of Norfolk says that the strain on Henry and Katherine's lack of a male heir will put a strain on their relationship, meaning the king will likely soon stray to a mistress.
  • About Mary's pending wedding night, Anne says she (Anne) should be the one telling Mary how it (sex) would be that night and what to expect, adding that she failed her as an older sister. Anne then enthusiastically tells Mary to tell her everything in the morning, with no details spared. We then see Mary's new husband climb on top of her in their bedroom (both are still in their night clothes), with sex implied but not seen. The next day, Anne asks how it was, with Mary responding it was satisfactory. She then comes clean, however, saying it was over in a hurry and that her new husband then got up and used a "piss pot" next to the bed (leaving her disgusted).
  • The Duke of Norfolk suggests that Anne be the one to try to seduce Henry, with her replying, "What, have me bed him instead?" Her father says no, but the Duke of Norfolk says yes, she's to be the mistress to the King of England. Anne eventually agrees when told that such action would help her down the line where she could then marry a duke or other such nobility.
  • When Henry asks Anne how she intends to stay on horseback without a man to hold onto, Anne replies, "As you do...with my thighs."
  • Various women (including Mary and Anne) show some (but not a lot) of cleavage in standard, period garb.
  • Katherine is suspicious of Mary suddenly showing up in her court. Jane then informs Mary that the Queen knows that the only reason Henry brought Mary there was that he desires her.
  • Anne tells Mary to try to please Henry, adding the sexual dig: "If you can."
  • We see Henry having sex with Mary. His shirt is off and he's on top of her, with close-up views of kissing, nuzzling, some caressing and her pleasured reaction, but no other nudity or movement. The next morning, her head is on his bare chest in bed under the covers (we see her bare back).
  • After Mary spends the night with Henry, the Duke of Norfolk asks her, "Well, did he have you?" She replies he did, and then asks, "More than once?" She replies yes, but is reluctant to answer when the Duke of Norfolk asks if Henry was satisfied. The Duke of Norfolk says that when she sleeps with the king, that's no longer private, so Mary says she believes Henry was satisfied. When the Duke of Norfolk asks if Henry said so, she replies he didn't need to.
  • From a distance, we see Mary's bare back as she has sex on top of Henry. We then see several close-up views of them kissing, her bare back, a partial side glimpse of a bare breast (in the shadows), and then her under the covers after sex (no movement is seen).
  • Anne and Henry Percy abruptly marry, and we next see them in bed in the spoons position, presumably after sex. Later, the term "wedded and bedded" is used about her. When the Duke of Norfolk learns of the shotgun marriage, he and Thomas are upset, with her saying it's true, that she laid with her husband and that the marriage was consummated. The Duke of Norfolk then cancels the wedding (for fear of the effect the scandal might have on his plan fixing up Mary with the King), and sends Anne off to France.
  • Lady Elizabeth complains about Mary "whoring in public with an adulterer" (referring to Henry).
  • The Duke of Norfolk isn't happy when Mary goes on bed rest for her pregnancy, stating that the King won't be bedding her in that state. Thus, he realizes they need a distraction, and accordingly brings Anne back from France for that purpose.
  • Jane complains to George that she's his wife, but "you never lie with me."
  • Anne uses her sexual wiles to attract Henry, including putting her hands over her clothed breasts, saying she'll keep a cross close to her heart at all times.
  • Henry promises Anne that he will never lie with his wife or speak to Mary again if she'll be with him.
  • Anne playfully tells Henry that their secret (and so far sex-free) meetings are hardly conducive for passion. She then says that if he married her, she could give herself to him fully, giving him everything he desires.
  • Tired of waiting, Henry grabs Anne and proceeds to rape her from behind (no nudity, but some slight thrusting, and her crying in shock over this sudden development). After that, Anne asks Mary how Henry was with her, and Mary replies he was surprisingly tender.
  • Anne tells Mary that it's getting harder to arouse Henry, and talks of degrading herself in trying to do just that (in hopes of getting pregnant and bearing him a son).
  • Afraid to tell Henry that she miscarried, Anne wants her brother to have sex with her, hoping she'll become pregnant again (and thus save her in the eyes of the King). He doesn't want to, yet they nearly do, but he then changes his mind.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We see Katherine quite distraught after giving birth to a stillborn boy, and she tells her daughter that there won't be any brother to make the country safe. Henry is also told of this development and is not pleased (as he wants a male heir).
  • Lady Elizabeth isn't happy with either arrangement involving her daughters, knowing no good can come of any of that. That also puts a strain on her marriage to Thomas.
  • Mary's new husband begrudgingly agrees that she'll go off to work in Katherine's court, knowing full well she'll be there for the King's sexual purposes (one can tell he's been forced into that decision).
  • Anne is mad at Mary, thinking she's stealing her opportunity to be with the King.
  • Katherine is suspicious of Mary suddenly showing up in her court. Jane then informs Mary that the Queen knows that the only reason Henry brought Mary there was that he desires her.
  • Anne and Henry Percy abruptly marry, and we next see them in bed in the spoons position, presumably after sex. Later, the term "wedded and bedded" is used about her. When the Duke of Norfolk learns of the shotgun marriage, he and Thomas are upset, with her saying it's true, that she laid with her husband and that the marriage was consummated. The Duke of Norfolk then cancels the wedding (for fear of the effect the scandal might have on his plan fixing up Mary with the King), and sends Anne off to France.
  • George isn't happy about his arranged marriage with Jane Parker.
  • Jane complains to George that she's his wife, but "you never lie with me."
  • Mary becomes jealous of Anne obviously moving in on Henry.
  • In order to meet Anne's demands, Henry puts Katherine on trial, hoping to be granted a divorce from her.
  • Anne gives birth to a daughter, thus leaving her, Henry and everyone else disappointed that it wasn't a son.
  • Anne has a miscarriage and reacts in horror at looking under the bed covers. We don't see anything (beyond a little blood on the back of her gown, later), but she summons her siblings, and tells her brother to get rid of it.
  • Afraid to tell Henry that she miscarried, Anne wants her brother to have sex with her, hoping she'll become pregnant again (and thus save her in the eyes of the King). He doesn't want to, yet they nearly do, but he then changes his mind.
  • Lady Elizabeth slaps her husband.
  • Spoiler Alert: Mary must contend with the executions of her siblings (and witnessing one of them).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The film's historical accuracy and/or any artistic license taken with the truth.
  • Monarchies and other such royalty.
  • Arranged marriages.
  • Affairs.
  • Miscarriages.
  • The Duke of Norfolk uses both of his nieces' sexuality as expendable means to try to further enrich their family's name and fortune. He's constantly manipulating events without worrying about the people involved.
  • Lady Elizabeth tells Anne that the art of being a woman is in making men think they're in charge.
  • Anne's comment that love is of no worth without power or ambition.
  • The consequences of manipulation.
  • Anne convinces/manipulates Henry to break with the Vatican in order to divorce Katherine and marry her.
  • Afraid to tell Henry that she miscarried, Anne wants her brother to have sex with her, hoping she'll become pregnant again (and thus save her in the eyes of the King). He doesn't want to, yet they nearly do, but he then changes his mind.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Tired of waiting, Henry grabs Anne and proceeds to rape her from behind (no nudity, but some slight thrusting, and her crying in shock over this sudden development).
  • Lady Elizabeth slaps her husband.
  • A man's head is placed in an execution block, an ax is raised, and he's beheaded. We don't see the act, but do hear it, as well as the sound of the severed head bouncing away.
  • A woman is executed via beheading with a sword. We hear but don't see the impact, but do see a very distant view of the body and severed head on the execution platform, as well as a pool of blood on that.



  • Reviewed February 25, 2008 / Posted February 29, 2008

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