Gregory airs Henry VIII exploits on film

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I’d read Phillipa Gregory’s novel some years ago so was really excited to see they’d adapted it for the big screen. Delved into it one Sunday afternoon with something resembling a child waiting for Christmas morning.

This film looks spectacular – it is beautifully filmed and the costumes are wonderful. I thought the performance of Natalie Portman was excellent but was really disappointed by the somewhat simpering portrayal of Mary and the huge ommissions made from the screenplay that were fascinating in the novel such as the relationship between Mary and her first husband and her subsequent second marriage which brought her much happiness.

I remember getting really into the film and then realising that before Anne had even given birth the film had only around 20 minutes to go and started to think ‘Hold on, how on earth are they going to squeeze miscarriages, a trial, execution into that timeframe’ and genuinely the last 30 minutes of the film do feel a little rushed – not sure why filmmakers think we are unable to concentrate beyond a 90 minute timeframe – you could have easily got another hours worth of film out of this story which would have made a better all round film.

Good but not quite what I expected.

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