I wouldn’t miss watching Natalie Portman being antagonist. She seemed to do it a bit often lately, after The Other Woman wherein she played a second wife. While in No String Attached, I found her still bitter and hard though, of course, beautifully performed.
A book site quiz considering readers interest showed me that historical fiction is my kinda book. I guessed that’s true, and I watched this movie especially since it’s based on a bestselling novel (and I grew even more curious because of it). Same title, by Philippa Gregory. Mas Agus watched this too and commented, “Probably no publisher would be interested to translate the book. The leading character is bad example.” I grinned.
Well, the story was around two sisters: Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman) and Mary (Scarlet Johansson). Both of them beautiful, though Mary tended to be Anne’s forever shadow. Both had simple dreams, getting married to men they loved. But also, both grew up in an ambitious family (except their mother and perhaps, their youngest brother George). Sir Thomas Boleyn and his brother in law, Duke of Norfolk, grabbed the chance when King of England, Henry Tudor, desperately seeked for male heir since his wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, only gave her a girl. Her other babies, who happened to be boys, died instantly when they were born. Ring a bell? Yes, it reminded me to another movie: The Duchess.
Ambition and greed turned Anne and Mary relationship. They challenged each other and felt betrayed, as both of them had to involve in family ‘mission’ to be King’s mistress. Their conflict itself has attracted me more than I thought it would have, but then my sympathy grew bigger too to their mother. She spoke about art of being woman, while Anne said to her sister, “Man’s love is worthless. Look at our mother, what does she get? A feeble husband.” Not that the lady washed her hands when her daughters had to offer themselves in front of King. She said to her husband, “What’s to smile about? I have one child has to marry the girl he hates, the other being sent away and one other’s whoring in public with an adulterer.” Not exactly so, but that’s what I recalled:D That’s her, Kristin Scott Thomas impressed me once again.
I also admired the queen character. She dared the two sisters, “What did I do?” Anne replied, “You failed to gave a male heir to England.” Queen said again, “And that upsets you so much?”
This is a story where women seem to be quite powerless sometimes, but not exactly so. They have control, over themselves and others. They’re not weak at all. And at the end, I understood what this exactly connected with England monarch history. So loveable and fascinating.
FYI, I also loved George Boleyn character. Pity him.