Sunday, April 26, 2009
Goodbye to Anne
Posted by JaneGS
When I was a young teenager, seances were always part of the agenda for slumber parties, and Anne Boleyn was the number one person we tried to raise. I'm not the only one who has been fascinated by this woman over the past five hundred years. She has shown up countless times in fiction, opera, movies, plays, poems, ballet, painting, etc. She is currently back in the limelight with popular series, The Tudors, which was almost coincident with the movie version of The Other Boleyn Girl.
Here's my previous post on The Tudors.
I'm now in the middle of season 2 of The Tudors, and Anne is in the Tower, having just watched the executions of her brother, favorite court musician, Sir Henry Norris, Sir William Brereton/Sir Francis Weston (I think The Tudors merged these two together).
Having watched a number of HVIII movies, I'm overall pleased with how Anne is portrayed in this one. Certainly vivacious and ambitious, Natalie Dormer did a superb job of portraying Anne's sinking into paranoia due to the stress of being married to HVIII and daughter to Thomas Boleyn. I liked how The Tudors version of the story stressed her fall being due in some significant measure to her quarrel with Cromwell regarding how the money the crown obtained when the Catholic institutions were ransacked was used. I don't think any of the other film/video versions covered this much if at all.
There are many candidates for villain in this series--with HVIII leading the pack, along with Wolsey, Cromwell, even Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk--but I think the prize for the one playing the villain most consistently and without mitigating circumstances goes to Thomas Boleyn.
While Anne's uncle, Duke of Norfolk showed up earlier in the series, I don't remember seeing him much, if at all, in recent episodes, leaving up to Anne's fall--I think the writers pretty much gave Thomas Boleyn all the credit for manipulating HVIII and Anne into the path that they took.
The Tudors paints a much more sympathetic version of Anne than I have seen in awhile. She is shown as a complex person, not merely an attractive monster who flew too close to the sun.