Historical and yet not for History Buffs
"The next time I see your face, I want it for eternity." If you know much at all about Lady Jane Grey and her unfortunate marriage to Guildford Dudley, you must know this cannot at all be what she said to him as they were parted for the last time. Yet the story branches away from the historical aspects of Jane's life and builds up a romance completely created in the minds of the writers, who have done an excellent job. In the beginning, the scene at Bradgate in Leicester, with the dance for the King, is extremely well shot. The plot thickens between the cunning Earl of Northumberland and the cold, greedy Duchess of Suffolk, while Jane argues theology with the Catholic doctor. Comparing this with history, I believe this was also very well written; from what I've read on Jane Grey (I have done extensive Tudor period research) I know she was very Protestant and, unlike the later Queen Elizabeth, very willing to argue on the topic of religion. Perhaps my favorite scene in the entire movie is the one where Jane goes to visit the Princess Mary. In this scene the Renaissance class system is extremely well depicted. The outwardly friendly but rather sneaky nature the Princess' maid (I believe that is Lady Anne Wharton) conducts herself shows the "subservience of the lesser nobility"; the proud way Jane speaks to the maid shows what the upper nobility could do; and then the regal, majestic, icy cold way the Princess Mary enters the room and "embraces" her second-cousin is the perfect example of a Princess of two royal bloodlines. Later, the love that blooms between Guildford and Jane will, without a doubt, sweep you off your feet. If you've ever been in love, I guarantee you'll relive some fond memories there. Overall, an excellent movie and highly recommended.
- Tim Ewing
- May 5, 2002
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