A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Men and women commit adultery, scheme to get power, and trade sexual favors. Family members betray each other, people are killed (often for muddled reasons). That said, there appears to be a strong bond between the two sisters, and there's an underlying message of forgiveness.
Violence & Scariness
Loud fights between couples (a woman slaps a man, for example), verbal confrontations, two beheadings (the actual act isn't shown, but in one scene, a bird's-eye view from far above shows a head next to a body), and a rape scene (not graphic, but the act is clearly implied).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple is shown passionately kissing while presumably naked (the shot is close-up, so breasts and genitals aren't visible); a wife beds down with her husband while both are wearing nightgowns; a brother and sister discuss being physically intimate with each other; lots of talk of taking a mistress.
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Nothing really stronger than "whore," though the insults are biting.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some drinking at festivities.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this historical romance/drama deals with mature themes like adultery, betrayal, and even incest. Still, there's a balance here: Characters who appear to value material comforts and power get their comeuppance, while those who display humility and conduct themselves with an inner compass appear to be spared. Although there are a number of implied sex acts and much discussion of adultery, surprisingly little is actually shown. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A lushly photographed, beautifully costumed feast for the eyes, The Other Boleyn Girl reveals the machinations of power-hungry men and women in the Tudor court. (It's a popular subject; Showtime has dedicated an entire TV series to it.). The cast is superb, the set design exact. Still, history buffs are bound to wince at the liberties the film takes with the facts, as well as how it speeds through huge swaths of time (the first half-hour feels particularly herky-jerky). And though screenwriter Peter Morgan's script bears the mark of a true professional -- he also wrote Helen Mirren's The Queen -- the dialogue is burdened in spots by too much explication.
But despite its flaws, the film resonates, thanks to its stars. Johansson one-ups her performance in Girl with a Pearl Earring, which proved she had a face for period pieces, and turns in a surprisingly nuanced performance. And Portman proves she's not just a good girl by attacking her villainess role in earnest; she's conniving, manipulative, and dedicated to ambition at any cost. But in the end, she's all too human, especially when her happiness is denied just as easily as the king's is indulged.
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Our Editors Recommend
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