This is the story of Anna Leonowens, the English schoolteacher who came to Siam in the 1860s to teach the children of King Mongkut. She becomes involved in his affairs, from the tragic plight of a young concubine to trying to forge an alliance with Britain to a war with Burma that is orchestrated by Britain. In the meantime, a subtle romance develops between them.Written by
Alyssa Milano was originally offered the leading role, but turned it down due to her commitment with the TV series Charmed (1998). See more »
Upon introducing his queens and concubines to Anna, Mongkut states that his concubines are not as numerous as those of the Emperor of China. The Chinese emperor in 1862, the Tongzhi Emperor, was only six years old at the time and unmarried. Even after marriage, he had 5 consorts- significantly less than Mongkut's 23 wives and 42 concubines. See more »
She was the first English woman I had ever met. And it seemed to me she knew more about the world than anyone. But it was a world Siam was afraid would consume them. The monsoon winds had whispered her arrival like a coming storm. Some welcomed the rain, but others feared a raging flood. Still she came, unaware of the suspicion that preceded her. But it wasn't until years later, that I began to appreciate how brave she was, and how alone she must have felt. An English woman. The ...
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Going in I had expected a solid performance by Jodie Foster and some nicely photographed scenes; what I got was much more. Chow Yun-Fat commands the viewers' attention whenever he is on the screen, fairly radiating a regal and aloof presence. There is a palpable chemistry between Jodie and Chow, something not seen in the actresses films since she squared off with Anthony Hopkins' Lecter. The script is solid and generally well-paced. Keen attention is paid to the dialog and interplay between the principals and the secondary characters, too. That they didn't actually film in Thailand, but in Malaysia never shows on the screen. The photography and costumes should be automatic nominees for Oscar. For that matter, both Jodie and Chow could comfortably fit in their respective nominee lists for Best Actor and Best Actress. Overall, a wonderful film and I'm really looking forward to the DVD in June!
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