With 5 kids and being nothing short of exhausted by the time I get home from work each night, it is an extremely rare night that I actually go TO a movie -- my DVD collection is enormous since we don't even rent movies but buy anything we're interested in instead. HOWEVER... my oldest daughter and I had both read the fabulous book, The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory and decided we were going to have a girls night out at the movies. Other than being really, really tired this morning, I cannot recommend this movie strongly enough.
The casting, cinematography and visuals were exquisite. Natalie Portman NAILED the part of Anne Bolelyn and Eric Bana was simply delicious as King Henny VIII. Scarlett Johansenn was adequate as Mary Bolelyn throughout the movie, but at the end, she was truly spectacular. Needless to say, to avoid a six hour movie experience (and since 1939 and Gone With The Wind, those don't happen), there were significant cuts made from the book to fit it into a 2 hour movie. Most of these cuts were ok and even those who have not read the book would be able to follow along. My sole criticisms are as follows: the character of Anne and Mary's mother in the book is quite the vicious, position-seeking, non-caring manipulator -- not so in the movie where Kristen Scott Thomas plays her as a sympathetic, early Woman's Rights activist who hates her husband and brother for the way in which the girls are used as political pawns. Secondly, the book has significant undertones regarding the homosexuality of the girls' brother, George, which are important to the storyline and also for the flavor of why Anne Boleyn was tried and executed by her husband's courtiers. Those undertones are eliminated completely from the movie.
All in all, a wonderful experience though and a fun time with my oldest daughter including a historical discussion of Tudor/Stuart history on the drive home. I laughingly said to my husband after I dropped Melissa off at her apartment and got home (at almost 11 !!!): "Omigod! Lissy ASKED me about history and was interested in the answer." I have been trying for almost 20 years to pour history into this girl's brain -- and all it took was a well-made movie???????