Other Boleyn Girl, The

Featured In Issue 133, July/August 2008

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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For mature thematic elements, sexual content and some violent images
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Justin Chadwick
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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Anne Boleyn (Portman) is well known throughout history as the bewitching maid who drove King Henry VIII (Bana) to break ties with the Catholic Church in order to marry her, changing the course of English history forever. Who is not well known is The Other Boleyn Girl, Anne's younger sister Mary (Johansson). Her story was mostly ignored until recently—Mary was Henry's most beloved mistress, who altruistically lobbied to save Anne from execution. Based on the novel by Philippa Gregory. (Stacey Pendry)

Special features include commentary by Director Justin Chadwick; 12 deleted and extended scenes; six Members Of The Court Character Biographies; the following featurettes: To Be A Lady (11 minutes), Translating History To Screen (ten minutes), and Camera Tests With Narration By Director Justin Chadwick (two minutes); and additional previews. In addition to the special features on the DVD, the Blu-ray Disc® includes a Picture-In Graphic Track Inside The Court.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.84:1 DVD delivers a slightly smeared, soft image, with fine details looking plugged up. Fleshtones also look drab and sickly, but black levels are solid and shadow delineation is defined well. The stylization provides a sense of forboding, and the color scheme's domination by golds, browns, and greens gives it a dated appearance that matches the timeframe well. Greens can look overly pastel, though, and highlights outdoors look overly saturated. Edge enhancement is noticeable over high-contrast transitions, and minor compression artifacts can be noticed at times. But this is still a fairly pleasing image. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc shows pristine detail and resolution, but shadow delineation is somewhat lacking, creating a relatively flat-looking picture. Fleshtones are poorly defined, but the color scheme matches the timeframe well. Colors are generally well saturated, but they occasionally look almost monochromatic. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack heavily favors the front of the room with little surround integration. The result is a very one-dimensional-sounding experience, which can be difficult to become fully engrossed in. Still, the bass is well defined, delivered mainly through the front full-range channels, and subtleties in the recording are delivered well, with solid dynamic range and a low noise floor. Dialogue is always audible with good articulation, and the front stage can deliver impressive phantom imaging. Fidelity is generally pure, although some effects can sound distorted. The Blu-ray Disc's lossless Dolby TrueHD encoding features good bass definition and pleasingly natural fidelity. The noise floor is very low, and dynamic range is natural. The mix features a broad front stage, and there is an improved sense of depth in the stage, but the mix is still limited. (Danny Richelieu)