17 Nov, 2021 In BingewatchEntertainment

Film Review: The Other Boleyn Girl, directed by Justin Chadwick

The Other Boleyn Girl (image: imdb.com)

Philippa Gregory, an award winning British historical author, wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl in 2001.

It was adapted for the screen twice, in 2003 and 2008.

The more popular version which we will focus on is the 2008 version, starring Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn and Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn.


Image: imdb.com

The film is set in the 16th century, specifically 1525 and focuses on the famous lives of Mary and Anne Boleyn and their relationship with King Henry VIII, played by Eric Bana.

King Henry’s marriage is on the rocks due to his wife Catherine of Aragon, played by Ana Torrent, not producing a male heir. 


When it comes to historical accuracy, the film was criticised by Alex von Tunzelmann for the factual errors present in the film - Anne was actually the younger sister in real life and stayed in France for 7 years, not just a few months.

The Other Boleyn Girl earned a worldwide gross of $75,598,644 earning double the budget for the production. However, the viewer’s ratings were not so kind with a 6.7 star rating on IMDB. 

Philippa Gregory also wrote a sequel, The Boleyn Inheritance to which BBC films own the rights, however there is no mention of the sequel actually being produced in the near future.

Although entertaining for any history-drama buff, other viewers might find the film a bit dragging - the plot does seem to only focus on the sibling rivalry, excluding the political and religious turmoil ignited by King Henry’s divorce from the Catholic Church.

For this reason, I would recommend the film to anyone who loves historical period dramas, but probably not to the average film viewer. 

Final Rating: 2.5 of 5


What to watch if you liked The Other Boleyn Girl


  • Mary Queen of Scots (2018)
  • The Duchess (2008)
  • The Young Victoria (2009)


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