Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Question from Stephanie - Helena Bonham Carter as Anne Boleyn

Just would like to take a moment to remember Queen Anne Boleyn today. She has been gone for 473 years today.

I also recently saw a version of Henry VIII with Helena Bonham Carter as Anne. I was wondering if anyone has seen this and has an opinion on her performance? I regret to say I was not a fan, I much prefer the vigor of Natalie Dormer. That is personal preference though. Any thoughts, fellow Tudor Fans???


  1. The version of Henry VIII with her as Anne Boleyn and Ray Winstone as Henry has been running almost daily on one of the cable channels for the past couple of weeks ... Hallmark HD, I think.

    I am not a fan of Helena Bonham Carter, full stop. She had one impressive performance: A Room With A View. After that, it was all downhill, especially after her guest-starring turn on Miami Vice (as the drug-addicted ER physician girlfriend of Don Johnson's character). Her performances are all alike and all wooden. She was abominable in Lady Jane. In that film, she came across as a petulant spoiled brat. And heaven help us if the role calls for her to weep on-screen. It's laughable. Thankfully, she is seldom seen by American audiences.

  2. PhD- I can't remember the last time I enjoyed reading a bad review!! Thank you! I concur :)

  3. IMO...the performance of Natalie Dormer vs any other actress portraying Anne Boleyn just can't be compared. Natalie had twenty episodes (approx 20 hours) to bring Anne to life...which she did to marvelous effect. Every other woman has had, at best, four hours to bring Anne back from the past, thus only skimming her personality.

    Helena was passable. She wasn't my picture of Anne and it didn't help that she looked to be awfully thick around the middle. Ms Boleyn was supposedly very slim. It wasn't until later that I read that Helena was pregnant while in front of the camera.

    I enjoy Helena but have seen her give better performances. Can't understand why she was chosen for this one...perhaps the producers needed some kind of name recognition?

  4. One thing I'll add to Tracey's comments - HBC was pregnant when she filmed "Henry VIII". Kind of odd that they did that since, as you say, Anne had a slim build.

    I guess I'll have to watch the whole thing one of these days, since I've only seen about 20 minutes of it

  5. I sort of like Ray Winstone as this Henry 8 though. Sort of mafia thug mixed with glittering prince.

    I agree though that the casting of HBC was a bit off. As for Natalie Dormer, I wish she had had a better script to work with. The early episodes have her continually bouncing between two emotional states triggered by 2 men - her bully of a daddy and Henry's rapacious sexuality - and not much more. I haven't seen the later episodes so this may have developed somewhat.

  6. I agree with PhD and Stephanie. I've certainly heard people praise Helena Bonham Carter's acting ability but I don't see it myself.

    But to be fair (and this is going off on a bit of a tangent from the original question) I thought she was great as Bellatrix Lestrange in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."--looked the part and had an amazing maniacal laugh.

  7. Yes, I don't mind her in other things, but as Anne I just couldn't sit through it. She was so bland. I think therein lies the problem. I feel like every AB on screen has been very BLAND except for Dormer. With the exception of Natalie Portman, who I personally thought was *epically* TERRIBLE as AB! Way too forced.

    On another note, I also agree with KB.. Ray Winstone made a very interesting Henry! Certainly different from Jonathan Rhys Myers (whom of course looks nothing like Henry) I never know how exactly to picture Henry's personality. Any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

  8. She was hopelessly miscast. In my opinion she was too old, pregnant, no discernable attractive qualities to cause Henry to fall in love with her and turn the world upside down. There was just no chemistry between them. Actually I liked Ray Winstone.

  9. Anne of a Thousand days!!! The best Anne scene around, henry's last visit to her in the Tower. she sums it all up in one scene. Natalie is great too but her scenes didn't allow for same conviction as 1000 days tower scene

  10. I am a Helenaist and let me tell you one thing she was fantastic as Anne Boleyn she brought the right amount of pain that she had gone through. And for god sake people she was pregnant.I love her so much


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