The death of King Henry VIII throws his kingdom into chaos because of succession disputes. His weak son Edward, is on his deathbed. Anxious to keep England true to the Reformation, a ...
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During the sixteenth century, the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots engages in over two decades of religious and political conflict with her cousin, the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I of England, amidst political intrigue in her native land.
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Helena Bonham Carter,
The death of King Henry VIII throws his kingdom into chaos because of succession disputes. His weak son Edward, is on his deathbed. Anxious to keep England true to the Reformation, a scheming minister John Dudley marries off his son, Guildford to Lady Jane Grey, whom he places on the throne after Edward dies. At first hostile to each other, Guildford and Jane fall in love. But they cannot withstand the course of power which will lead to their ultimate downfall. Written by
Samantha Santa Maria <TE7441667@ntuvax.ntu.ac.sg>
Interesting Look At The Political Intrigues Of The Tudor Court
For anyone interested in the history of England's Tudor dynasty, this is definitely a must-see film. The most famous of the Tudors are King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I, but this film offers up a look at the intrigues within the court in the period between Henry's death and Elizabeth's accession, as Catholic Princess Mary strives to gain the throne after the death of her Protestant brother King Edward VI. The religious divisions caused by Henry VIII's embrace of the Reformation are well documented and believably portrayed.
Helena Bonham Carter plays the title role - Lady Jane Grey - cousin of the young King Edward and a fanatical Protestant who is manouvered into taking the throne after Edward's death at the age of 15. Jane - also 15 - is at first overwhelmed by the thought of being Queen, but then embraces the throne. Her immaturity, however, and wilfullness (not surprisingly for a 15 year old) get the better of her and lead to her downfall after only nine days on the throne, and Mary's accession. Carter was excellent in this role. Cary Elwes also offered up a strong performance as Guilford Dudley, whom Jane is forced to marry against her will, but whom she falls passionately in love with. The supporting cast included performances - all of them quite good - by Sara Kestelman as Jane's mother Frances, Patrick Stewart as her father Henry, John Wood as the Duke of Northumberland (Guilford's father), Warren Saire as the young King Edward, and - playing this role absolutely perfectly - Michael Hordern as Dr. Feckenham, confessor to Princess Mary. In fact, there really wasn't a sub-par performance in this movie.
It isn't perfect, mind you. It's a little bit too long, and I found myself, particularly in the last hour or so, wondering when it would end. Some of the history is questionable. Many historians think that neither Jane nor Edward were as innocent in the plot to keep Mary from the throne as the movie portrays them, and the love story between Jane and Guilford is, as I understand it, largely fictional. But the basics are quite correct, the behind the scenes plotting believably portrayed and the religious struggle of the time absolutely authentic. It's well worth watching this movie if you are interested in this period of English history.
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