1 hour, 55 minutes
PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.
for mature thematic elements, sexual content and some violent images.
DVD Features: Closed Caption; Deleted and extended scenes; "Translating History to the Screen" - Featurette on bringing the actual historical story and best selling novel to life; "To Be a Lady" Featurette on the life of a lady & court etiquette in 16th century England; Members of the Court Biographies: Explore the real lives of Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII and others.
Natalie Portman ... Anne Boleyn
Scarlett Johansson ... Mary Boleyn
Eric Bana ... Henry Tudor
Jim Sturgess ... George Boleyn
Mark Rylance ... Sir Thomas Boleyn
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Lady Elizabeth Boleyn
David Morrissey ... The Duke of Norfolk
Benedict Cumberbatch ... William Carey
Oliver Coleman ... Henry Percy
Ana Torrent ... Katherine of Aragon
The 16th-century Boleyn sisters: the older, more assertive Anne (Natalie Portman) and the younger, more demure Mary (Scarlett Johansson "The Girl with the Pearl Earring"), are driven by their ambitious father (Mark Rylance "Angels and Insects") and uncle (David Morrissey "The Reaping") to advance the familyï¿½s power and contend for the affections of King Henry VIII of England (Eric Bana "Munich"). When his aging wife, Queen Catherine (Ana Torrent "Iris"), is found unable to have children and, thus, cannot give him an heir to the throne, King Henry VIII has the Boleyn family brought to his court with the understanding that the recently married Mary become his mistress. Pressured by her family to accept the offer, Mary enters into an affair with Henry and soon has become pregnant but she delivers a girl. Mary's older sister, lady-in-waiting Anne, schemes to steal Henry's affections, convince him to turn his back on Mary and their "bastard" child, and also annul his marriage to Catherine, and marry her instead. Presenting Henry with the son Henry desperately desires, however, is not as simple as Anne expects.
The annulment causes the king to break with Rome and creates the Anglican church so that he will be able to marry Anne, but, their union quickly falls apart after Anne bears Henry another daughter (the future Queen Elizabeth). Itï¿½s not long before the collapse of their marriage which ruins not just Anne but her brother George (Jim Sturgess "Across the Universe") as well, when Anne is accused of incest with her brother. The sisters do reconcile at the end, even though Mary canï¿½t save Anne from her fate.
Although Anne was the able to stay alive and married to Henry for 1,000 days, it's clear that her sister Mary would have been his queen if only she had given him a son. This mix of 16th century English history, melodrama, sex, greed, sibling rivalry, adultery, treason and politics directed by first time helmer Justin Chadwick, has an attractive cast but it plays like a bad period soap opera.