SPOILER ALERT: Please don’t read any further if you haven’t watched the movie.
The Setting of the Movie: In old England, 1500′s.
The Primary Cast of Characters:
Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn
Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn
Eric Bana as King Henry VIII
So, the story starts out as the Boleyn couple walking while talking as their children play on the field. Thomas Boleyn tells his wife, Lady Elizabeth that a merchant’s family, The Careys has asked for their eldest daughter’s hand in marriage to their son, William Carey, but he turned them down and offered the second daugter instead, because he thought that the eldest daughter, Anne, might do much better than merchant’s son. So, when they all grew up, Mary married William Carey.
Everything started to go wrong when the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Howard, Sir Thomas Boleyn’s brother-in-law, Lady Elizabeth’s brother, heard of the queen’s inability to give the king a male son. So he went to his brother-in-law and together they hatched a scheme in an effort to advance their family’s social standing. They decided that Anne should become the king’s mistress and maybe if they were lucky she might bear him a son. So they told Anne, and despite her refusal, she had no choice, but in the end the thought of being wed off to a nobleman, maybe a duke tempted her into agreeing to the plan. So it wa set into motion, the king was invited over to their place. He seemed to like Anne the very first time he saw her, but then because of an accident during a hunting expedition, he fell off a ravine because of Anne, it was said that everybody was willing to let the animal go, except for Anne, and she followed it and the king followed her, since Anne knew the woods pretty well, she knew where the ravine was but the king didn’t, so he fell. But he was okay, except for maybe a broken ankle or something, but like this guy in the movie said, his pride must be the one hurting the most. Mary was the one who took care of him after the accident and the king was unexpectedly smitten with her. The king lost interest in Anne and diverted his attention to Mary, which causes a rift between the sisters. Mary didn’t want to become the king’s mistress but she was left with no choice and so, Mary and her husband were summoned and given positions in court. Mary and Anne became the Queen’s ladies in waiting while Mary’s husband was sent away on a mission.
Anne, in a rebellious act, elopes with a nobleman, Henry Percy, who is betrothed to another lady. Anne, tells his brother George who tells Mary and then Mary tells their father. The end result, the marriage was broken, and Anne was sent to France. This is how it went down:
Sir Thomas Boleyn: [regarding the punishment for Anne's secret marriage] You will be sent to France and stay there until you’ve learned your lesson.
Anne Boleyn: What? No! Father, please!
Sir Thomas Boleyn: How can you have done this? You knew full well that Mary’s friendship with the king is at an extremely delicate state! Any scandal, any mark upon her name could be fatal!
The Duke of Norfolk: You will be sent to join the court of the French queen and stay there until your father has forgiven you.
Anne Boleyn: [crying, runs into the hall where Mary is waiting] You told them didn’t you?
Mary Boleyn: It was for your own good. You never would have gotten away with it. It would have ruined your prospects forever.
Anne Boleyn: [still crying] Really? For my good? Well, I’ll try to remind myself of that while I’m in exile, and you’re here in the king’s bed, not challenged for our father’s affection! That it was for my good and not yours!
[running down the hall, leaving Mary]
Mary Boleyn: Anne!
And so Anne went to France while Mary pleased the king and she falls in love with him even more. Somewhere in all this Mary’s husband dies of a disease. Anyway, Mary becomes pregnant and because of complications in her pregnancy she had to be confined to bed until she gave birth. To keep the king interested in Mary and so that he will not look to anyone else, they summoned Anne back. She was given instructions to keep the king entertained and his attention be kept on Mary, but she had other plans. She successfully managed to seduce the king and bring back his interest on her. This is what happened when she came back to court:
King Henry VIII: [during a supper in the banquet hall, to Anne] What’s so amusing?
Anne Boleyn: I was merely offering my thoughts on the new French king. With such great power, yet such meager authority as a man.
King Henry VIII: [intrigued] Continue.
Anne Boleyn: [slowly walking forward] His pettiness is astounding. He will bear a mortal grudge at the mildest of slights. Spoiled cub with a spike in his paw. Riveted with resentment. Unable to forgive or forget. A great king, a great man rises above such things.
King Henry VIII: And what would you know of great men?
Anne Boleyn: [never taking her eyes from Henry's] I’ve read enough books and heard enough talk to believe I’d know one if he were before me.
King Henry VIII: Then look about you. I am curious. Do you see one here?
Anne Boleyn: Looking my lord… still looking, my lord.
Anne Boleyn: Ah! There. Found one.
King Henry VIII: [laughs to himself as the subjects in the room start to laugh]
The king’s interest in Anne becomes greater when she refuses to be his mistress, and she managed to ask him to annul his marriage with the queen and never speak to Mary again. Even though Mary gave birth to a son, the king ignored her because he wanted Anne now. Anne managed to convince him to break from the Roman catholic church when the Pope refused to annul his marriage with Queen Catherine of Aragon. So his marriage was annulled and he was free to marry Anne, which he did.
Queen Anne gave birth to a daughter shortly after, Elizabeth, but her inability to produce a son displeased the king, which made her even more obsessed to have a son, it drove her to madness. After having a miscarriage, it drove her to the edge and asked her brother to sleep with her so the king doesn’t have to find out she had a miscarriage. But, they couldn’t do it, so in the end they decided to tell the king, but George’s wife saw them and she went and told the king. The King was furious, and so it was brought to the court, Queen Anne was charged with treason, adultery and incest. She plead not guilty, but was found guilty nonetheless. Her brother George was beheaded shortly after. Mary heard about what had happened and rushed to the king to plead for Anne’s life, he gave his word to her but in the end broke it and issued her a warning never to return to court because she might not be shown the same kindness. The ending, Anne was beheaded and then Mary took Elizabeth and cared for her.
I love this movie! It was awesome! I did think that King Henry VIII was a wimp though (but Eric Bana was hot in the movie), and he was, cause he let a woman manipulate him into doing things, just because she gave him blue balls, kudos to Queen Anne for managing to do so right? Talk about having girl power. She managed to get rid of the first Queen, managed to become Queen and revolutionized the whole of England AND she gave birth to Queen Elizabeth, who we know is one of the greatest leaders of all time. She is an awesome woman and Natalie Portman gave the character justice. The movie was so awesome, I so loved it!
Great cast+Great director+Great story=AWESOME FILM!
1. Elizabeth was only 3 years old when Queen Anne was beheaded.
2. George Boleyn was homosexual, although never revealed in the movie.
3. The necklace that Anne wears (the string of pearls with a B and 3 tear drops) is the same necklace worn in ABC’s hit show, Ugly Betty. Although, Betty got the idea from the real Queen Anne.
I’m definitely going to buy a dvd of this film, it’s definitely one movie I want my children to see. I will buy the book too! So if you haven’t seen it, go see it, you won’t be disappointed!
Thank You for gracing me with your presence!