Let’s kick things off with the April wallpaper battle. I received around 20 entries and had to then cut that down to a final 10. A few entries were not in the correct resolution and were automatically disqualified (just something to remember for the next one) but ALL submissions that didn’t make the cut will be posted on the site tomorrow as fanart.

Some people think that the wallpapers linked at the top have a better chance so I just want to encourage people to view all 10 pics before voting. They are in order of when they arrived in my inbox.

What are you waiting for? Get Voting!

Here are the results of the previous poll:

The promo photo for My Blueberry Nights 47.37% (243 votes)

News that she will be appearing on The View 21.83% (112 votes)

The Guardian article 18.32% (94 votes)

The LAX photos 12.09% (62 votes)

Harper found someone posting thoughts from a test screening of The Other Boleyn Girl. Sounds mildly positive.

I just attended a preview screening of The Other Boleyn Girl, the period drama being positioned for Oscar season this year. It’s not released until December, so the version I saw was a rough cut, with a temporary score. The audience filled out surveys after the film, so we’ll see how the film looks when it’s complete, but it was polished enough to get a good sense of it. Here are some of my thoughts.

– Natalie Portman and Scarlet Johansson give strong performance and are about as good as you could ask them to be, but they always seemed somewhat miscast to me: both a little bit young, especially Portman, who later in the film should convey a regal command and authority, but she always seems girlish and slight. Worse, their English accents are so-so, passable but not polished or comfortable, distracting — they always sound like American girls affecting accents. I have admiration especially for Portman, though, who gives a grade-A performance wedged into a role that doesn’t quite fit her. I’ll split the difference and give her a B+.

– Portman and Johansson’s roles have more-or-less equal importance, but I suspect we’ll see Portman campaigned in the lead category and Johansson in supporting, since Portman has the showier role (Anne Boleyn — harlot, vixen, tragic queen).

– The first half of the film is pure soap opera, effective but a bit thin. The second half gets darker, more complex, and more satisfying, but it feels rushed, like it’s hitting its marks and moving on. The second half had an energy and intrigue that started to remind me of director Justin Chadwick’s marvelous “Bleak House” or Shekhar Kapur’s “Elizabeth,” and I wished there had been more of it. (Chadwick is the director of this film.)

– Good supporting cast, but not exceptional. Henry VIII isn’t as challenging a role as you’d think as written by Peter Morgan (“The Queen,” “The Last King of Scotland”;) ; Eric Bana does good work — gets angry, gets horny, bellows from time to time, but the role doesn’t have the showcase qualities of regal characterizations like Elizabeth I (Blanchett’s and Mirren’s). Kristin Scott Thomas and Mark Rylance are solid in minor roles as the Boleyn parents. Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch are very good in limited roles as love interests for Johansson. Ana Torrent is a standout as Catherine of Aragon. David Morrissey can’t do much to elevate the character of Anne and Mary’s uncle, who is a flat villain.

Right now, I’ll give the film a B+, and I might decide to see it again to see how the finished product looks. It has considerable potential.

Anne is sent to France over the course of the story (off screen), but no, not a trace of French in her accent upon her return.
I think there is slightly more focus on Anne, but there are portions of the film where Anne is off-screen (in France for instance) that focus on Mary. And yes, they share many scenes together.
To answer babypook, I think Natalie gives the stronger performance, partly because her accent is a little more up to snuff.

Thats it for now but I’ll have much more tomorrow.