Sunday, March 2, 2008


Historical drama

The second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, young Henry became heir to the throne of England in 1502 when his older brother Arthur died. With the death of his father in 1509, the 17-year-old became King Henry VIII. He then married his brother’s widow, Katherine of Aragon, the 23-year-old daughter of King Ferninand and Queen Isabella of Spain.

Sir Thomas Boleyn was an opportunistic Tudor diplomat and politician. He married Lady Elizabeth Howard and they had at least five children, three of whom survived their early childhood: Lady Mary born in 1499, Lady Anne born in 1501 and George born in 1504.

Their ambitious uncle Thomas Howard was also a prominent politician.

Mark Rylance: Sir Thomas Boleyn
Kristin Scott Thomas: his wife Lady Elizabeth
Scarlett Johansson: their eldest daughter Mary
Natalie Portman: her sister Anne
Jim Sturgess: their brother George
Benedict Cumberbatch: merchant William Carey
Oliver Coleman: Henry Percy, son of the county's largest landowner
David Morrissey: Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk
Eric Bana: King Henry VIII
Ana Torrent: Queen Katharine of Aragon

With the backing of the BBC you’re pretty sure of getting a well documented, mostly historically accurate, lavish production. The costumes alone are worth the price of admission.

With strong performances throughout, it moves along at a pretty fast clip so you have to pay attention as things evolve because there is a lot going on. For some, perhaps too much but history-buffs will appreciate the wealth of information presented. And maybe even gain a better understanding of those troubled times.

for mature thematic elements, sexual content and some violent images (but thankfully not too violent).

The Boleyn family name is pronounced beau-lynne (or if you prefer bow, the thing you tie, -lynne)

Later in life, Henry VIII became grossly overweight, winding up with a 54”waist. His increased size dates from a jousting accident in 1536 when he suffered a thigh wound which prevented him from exercising.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see this movie after reading your review. I like the way you approach your reviews; as a reader of them it is always a pleasure and I am assured of an unbiased report. This is very helpful. Regarding Henry VIII, I was interested in your titbit about his waist size. I learned something new about him.