Saturday, July 24, 2010

Movie review: "Anne of the Thousand Days"

Great movie, though old enough (1969) to stir some reactions. I must say I am not a fan of very old movies, mainly because some of them are really boring (such as "The six wives of Henry VIII" series, 1970). But this illustration of Anne’s life amazed me with magnificence, excellent cast and quite truthful interpretation of events. It is the story of Anne’s ascension to power and downfall, during her 1000 days of happiness and love shared with the king. 

The actors - Geneviève Bujold, perfect in her role of Anne Boleyn, beautiful, delicate, keen but proud and very determined; makes almost a perfect Anne, though I picture her less nervous and a little more cunning; Richard Burton – the ideal Henry VIII, however too much goodness in his eyes for such a cold-blooded monster as he was sometimes; handsome, still attractive at his age (over 40, unlike the Henry played in "The Tudors" series by Johnatan Rhys Meyers who looked too young). I didn’t particularly enjoy the performances of Thomas Cromwell (played by John Colicos) and Thomas More (played by William Squire).

For 2 hours and almost 20 minutes we are going through the most important events related to Anne’s life starting from her meeting the king in 1527 up to her death in 1536. Anne’s attempt to resist the king before their marriage is admirable and totally explains his impatience to get hold of her body and soul but as soon as he possesses her, he no longer needs her. (That happens in real life too!) I am not going to tell the entire story; you might know it from history books, other movies or my own previous notes. I just have one negative remark. The movie states no connection between Henry’s breach with Rome and the spreading of Protestantism in England. This element has been ignored or wittingly put away to focus on others. Such neglect can hardly be forgiven when it comes to presenting major events taking place in 1533-1536 that lead to the Reformation of the English Church, especially since Anne presumably took part in this initiative.

"Anne of the Thousand Days" won many international awards and received great praise from film-makers worldwide. I recommend it at least for great costumes and setting.


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