Friday, January 25, 2008

iPod Bookshelf: THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL

Continuing with my Tudor-era kick....

For a long time, I've wanted to read this book, which details the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn through her younger sister Mary's eyes. It doesn't get any more dramatic than the story of Anne's seduction of Henry VIII and how she persuaded him to oust his first queen, Katherine of Aragon. And it doesn't get darker, because Phillipa Gregory doesn't shy away from all the rumors about Anne's "supposed alliance" (ahem) with her brother in order to get with child because it wasn't really happening with Henry. And we do get involved with Anne's ultimate punishment, and that's always a downer. It's also interesting to hear about how Mary had an affair with Henry even before Anne did.

However, this historical fiction is at its best when it concentrates on Anne and not Mary. I hate to say that, because Mary is portrayed as a sweet, fairly level-headed girl who got swept into ugly politics in spite of her misgivings. But that's the thing with Mary: she's sweet and level-headed. Anne is fiery, very smart, and actually pretty hardcore, so she's incredibly interesting.

Since this movie is coming out soon, I had a pretty good time picturing the actors in the parts. Scarlett Johansson is actually pretty good casting, I think, even though I tend to see her in more modern terms. Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn is awesome--Portman is so gorgeous that I tend to forget she can act up a storm. And Eric Bana as Henry VIII? It sounds weird to have the babelicious MUNICH actor as a king who's often portrayed as a man who really let himself go in his later years, but when Henry was young, he was supposed to be super hot. Bana fits that bill, and the guy can act. Have you seen CHOPPER? Case closed.

The thing was, whenever the audio actress, Ruthie Henshall, imitated Henry's voice in the recording, I got icked out. That often happens when an actress tries to do a man's voice, especially when he's whispering seductive words to a lady. I'm trying to forget that part. But, otherwise, Henshall is fabulous, hitting each character on target.

Great read, you all.

2 comments:

Celise said...

Well, if Henry looked anything like Jonathan Rhys Meyers does in that Showtime series, The Tudors, then I would've jumped his bones, too. I remember wanting to see it when it first came out, because JRM is H-O-T, but that was back when we had HBO and STARZ.

Then a friend of the hubby's told us about Dexter.

Then it was all over but the cryin'. We dumped Starz like a 'ho on crack and now JRM is coming back on. I might have to go back and watch the other episodes.

BTW, I hope you were watching T.V. last night, Crys, because they aired two new episodes of Chuck.

Crystal Green's Blog said...

Celise! OMG, I love THE TUDORS, too, and I can't wait for the new season. (Late March? Is that the date?)

And DEXTER? Love. What a thrill ride, and I can't believe I love the whacked out character so much. I think it's because he's soooooo interesting.

I totally taped CHUCK and I'm dying to watch! I guess these are the last of them until the writers strike ends...?