Via Media

Via Media

You take what you can get

So, what with today being the one day in a 15-day period that Michael was around, we decided to try to do something – a movie. How about it? Of course, this is the Late Winter Dregs, so there is really not a lot out there (There Will Be Blood is gone already…durn!). We settled on Vantage Point.
We parked, walked up to the theater at about 5 for the 5:05 show. Michael went to the ticket kiosk, which told him the 5:05 was sold out. We looked around. There were two people in line at the ticket office and the lobby was empty. Private party? Buying out the 5:05 of Vantage Point on the last day of February?
So we went up to the ticket office and I said, doubtfully, “The 5:05 of Vantage Point is really sold out?”
“Oh! Were you coming to see that movie?” said the girl at the window.  Um, yes. “Just go into the lobby and I’ll send the manager out to talk to you.”
What? Had we stumbled upon some secret gathering? Were we suspected of something because we were going to see a movie about a political assassination in Spain? Had we inadvertently uttered a code that was going to get us entrance into a Secret Chamber in which they show late winter releases that don’t reek?
No, the manager (a guy who might just have been the lost twin of he nervous physicist in Lost) explained – the time stamp on the print was messed up – it had something to do with it being February 29 – and so it wouldn’t run. (But…who are you? Penny?!) So we could go see any movie we wanted, no charge.
Very nice, except for the whole “Late Winter Dregs” concept still being in effect. Gee, what shall it be? Semi-Pro? Fool’s Gold? Darn, I can’t decide.
We ended up at The Other Boleyn Girl, which didn’t displease me, even as it didn’t exactly thrill Michael.
My verdict?


  • It’s loosely based on a novel which is loosely based on history, so what you basically have is a core – Mary Boleyn had an affair with Henry first, then Anne followed, then Anne was executed – that was historically accurate, but precious little else. I mean – Mary Boleyn wasn’t even present at her sister’s execution and certainly did not stalk off afterwards carting away little Elizabeth to raise in the country. I agree with Barbara Nicolosi that the central theme is a good one – the horror of the Boylens using their daughter as chattel in the quest for power – but the truth of the situation is far more complex than the movie allows.  I think what interests me is that both of the sisters’ characters are stripped of their strength and sophistication and given more total victim status than history hints they actually had. Anne was far more accomplished and substantive than she is in the film and Mary’s character, in particular, is much different in the film than what history seems to indicate she was really about.  As in – in the film, she’s portrayed as an innocent handed over by her family to Henry, when in fact she’d been around the French court a bit, history indicates, long before.  
  • It was pretty to look at, but oddly rather claustrophobic.
  • Fairly good acting, although I felt Henry could have been a stronger character and the American actresses – Scarlett Johannsen and Natalie Portman…well, the characters should have been portrayed by Englishwomen. Except not Keira Knightly. Please.
  • We decided that from now on, we really prefer that the  all British historical dramas be acted out completely by the cast of Rome.  That would be best. Thanks. 
  • All that said, I enjoyed it. Maybe I’m just desperate to get out of the house. And mind you, I’ll not be taking responsibility for your opinions if you rush out and spend your eight bucks on it.  Because, remember, I saw it for free.  That makes everything better, in my book.
Comments read comments(8)
post a comment

posted March 1, 2008 at 1:19 am

I just got back from it as well, I treated myself to a movie out (alone, no kids!).
I agree with most of your points – I thought the scenery was good, I thought a lot was glossed over – the book had taken liberties with facts, and then the script took liberties with liberties taken. And, I did giggle at the idea of Mary marching off with Elizabeth – um, no way would that have happened. In fact, there’d have been no way Anne’s mother would have had Elizabeth anyway.
I didn’t have any idea that Eric Bana’s voice was so deep though, that was a pleasant surprise.

report abuse


posted March 1, 2008 at 5:28 am

I’ve seen most of the first season of The Tudors on DVD. That’s basically a soap opera with a lot of sex thrown in. However, they do a good job of showing how the first sister was thrown aside by Henry and Anne was very calculatingly used by her family to gain power and get at those in power such as Cardinal Wolsey (sp?) That said, I’ll probably go see The Other Boleyn Girs just for the costumes and sets even though a couple of newspapers I read trashed the film in their reviews.

report abuse

Patricia Gonzalez

posted March 1, 2008 at 11:35 am

Amy, do your remember the fine BBC series “The Six wives of Henry VIII” with Keith Michell back in the 70’s. IMO, that’s been the best treatment of the Boleyn story ever. Dorothy Tutin was wonderful as Anne. The Tudors was pretty wretched on many levels, and don’t get me started about the Elizabeth movies with Cate Blanchett — along with The Virgin Queen (with Anne Marie Duff), which has such creepy music. Like you, I’ll probably go see The Other Boleyn Girl just to get out of the house, except I’m working on a show, “Anything Goes”, with our local music club till the end of March. I’d also love to see the cast of Rome do the Tudor story — how about James Purefoy as Henry, and Ciaran Hinds as Cardinal Wolsey? Whom would you want as Thomas More — David Bamber? Tobias Menzies? And how about Lindsay Duncan as Catherine of Aragon? There you go!

report abuse

James Kabala

posted March 1, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Just being a contrarian here: Accents in the Tudor period were actually quite different from modern-day RP, which didn’t develop until the eighteenth century at the earliest, so a native Briton of today is not necessarily any closer to the authentic accent than a native American (or, for that matter, a native Australian like Bana).

report abuse


posted March 2, 2008 at 1:27 am

“Vantage Point” is not really worth a movie ticket. It’d be ok as a free-night DVD, but the audience I was with got tired of the premise by the halfway point.

report abuse


posted March 2, 2008 at 11:59 am

From a ‘girly’ standpoint, I’ll enjoy any kind of costume drama. I still recommend Kirsten Dunst’s “Marie Antoinette” just for the dresses, shoes and furniture.
I think I would see Semi-Pro for free (I think we’ll probably be seeing it for free a lot on Comedy Central in the coming years) if they’d throw in free popcorn, Coke and sweet-tarts, too!

report abuse


posted March 2, 2008 at 4:54 pm

When I read your post, I remembered having seen the story of the Boleyn sisters on television, with Englishwomen in the lead roles. I found it here:

report abuse


posted March 3, 2008 at 1:13 am

How can you pass up a free ticket to Semi-Pro? I can’t wait to see that. Seriously.

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

There is nothing I shall want
A couple of weeks ago, a memorial Mass for Michael was held here in Birmingham at the Cathedral. The bishop presided and offered a very nice, even charming homily in which he first focused on the Scripture readings of the day, and then turned to ...

posted 9:24:16am Mar. 05, 2009 | read full post »

Revolutionary Road - Is it just me?
Why am I the only person I know..or even "know" in the Internet sense of "knowing"  - who didn't hate it? I didn't love it, either. There was a lot wrong with it. Weak characterization. Miscasting. Anvil-wielding mentally ill prophets.But ...

posted 9:45:04pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Books for Lent
No, I'm not going to ask you about your Lenten reading lists...although I might.Not today, though. This post is about giving books to others. For Lent, and a long time after that. You know how it goes during Lent: Prayer, Fasting and ...

posted 9:22:07pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Why Via Media
How about....because I'm lame and hate thinking up titles to things? No? about...St. Benedict? Yes, yes, I know the association with Anglicanism. That wasn't invovled in my purpose in naming the joint, but if draws some Googling ...

posted 8:54:17pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Brave Heart?
I don't know about you, but one of effects of childbirth on me was a compulsion to spill the details. All of them.The whole thing was fascinating to me, so of course I assumed everyone else should be fascinated as well in the recounting of every ...

posted 10:19:45pm Mar. 03, 2009 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.