Now that the buzz has died down a bit I decided to grab the DVD and spend some time watching this. I had some problems with the story as I was disappointed with the historical changes Philippa Gregory wrote in her novel and on rereading I liked it even less. So much in fact that although I have other Gregory's in the TBR pile I haven't felt like reading them.
Naturally my opinion did not change on watching instead of reading. The script follows the book but in such a rushed way that had I not known better I would believe the story took place in just a couple of months. And Mary Boleyn's first husband just disappears and suddenly another man is proposing to her... that was definitely an example of how the secondary characters were almost invisible.
In terms of settings and costume I think they tried too hard, everything looked so shiny and sparkling that instead of giving authenticity they were a distraction. And Scarlet Johansson and Natalie Portman never really felt like the characters they were supposed to portray, they don't seem to age in the time span of the story and Portman as Anne definitely lacked the cultural depth that Anne Boleyn must have had. I can't say I liked Eric Bana either, he lacked majesty and wasn't attractive and repulsive enough when the action called for it.
Oh and if there were things in the book that annoyed me imagine what I thought when it is implied that Mary raised the future Elizabeth I?? I'm afraid this is not a movie I would recommend...
This is an entry for the Period Drama Challenge in the Kings & Queens Category