Tuesday, 3 March 2009


This song was always my favourite part of 'White Christmas'. Not all of the sentiments always hold true because sisters will steal each other's boyfriends without too many qualms. However, any man who tries to come between their sisterhood and attempts to destroy their relationship will not last long. Sisters do forgive, although they may not always forget.

Sisters grow up being made to share a room and wear matching outfits. They are forced into each other's company at all times but part and parcel of all that enforced closeness is the forging of a deep bond... as well as an extreme rivalry. However, even through troubled times and unforeseen circumstances, when they can no longer share everything with the person who has been their life-long best friend, they both know that nothing has really changed and they will be there for each other when it matters.

I was reminded of this when I watched 'The Other Boleyn Girl' starring Scarlett Johannson and Natalie Portman as Mary and Anne Boleyn, the two sixteenth century sisters who were both sexually entangled with Henry VIII and indeed both bore him children. One who went on to become Queen and at least one acknowledged bastard who, in the future, would prove a mainstay of his cousin's reign.

The film is based on the book by Philippa Gregory. As an avid reader of anything that relates to Anne Boleyn, I consumed this in one sitting and it was quite extraordinary. To see the story from Mary's viewpoint and attempt to explain some of the historical mysteries - like the charge of incest between Anne and their brother, George, which was supported by their sister-in-law, Jane. The theory is that Anne had secretly miscarried and knew that her life was in danger because the King would never come to her bed again. He had used words like witchcraft to explain how his love had turned to such violent hate. He believed that she could not give him a son because their marriage was cursed, so Anne used her brother to procreate a child which was, unfortunately, also born prematurely and the resulting foetus was horribly deformed.

At the heart of both works is the deep-seated relationship that exists between two women who, like all sisters, love each other but can still feel jealousy and inferiority.

When they both want the same man, this can cause a rift in what was a rock-solid friendship. Mary is the gentle, compliant woman that the King should have married and Anne is the fiery temptress who excites his blood and enrages him at the same time. Their sorority is shaken to its core by this man and his choice of one over the other, but emerges triumphant in the end.

The film has taken a few liberties with both the book's narrative and, of course, with history itself but it is a very enjoyable tale nevertheless. The costumes and sets are stunning. Get a glass of wine, forget the historical inaccuracies and snuggle up for a good drama, with the emphasis on the sisterhood.

Even Ruf enjoyed this one.


BenefitScroungingScum said...

I loved the book and film, but sadly don't share your faith in the bond between sisters, wish I did! BG x

Anonymous said...

Wow...this looks great. Love Natalie Portman. And my sister and I sing that "Sister's" song from White Christmas to one another all the time.

Osbasso said...

Vera-Ellen. *sigh*

My sisters did the "Sisters" routine every Christmas too!

Helga Hansen said...

Sadly, I am another who does not share a closeness with her sister - and to be honest, I am not bothered by it.

I've seen the write-up about the movie, and had planned to see it - guess it'll be a DVD job for me, too! Thanks for the preview!! :)

Scarlet said...

I LOVED the book and the movie!

Not so sure about the sister bond .. I only have brothers.

Dazza said...

Not seen this, but might well check it out now.


having my cake said...

BG/Helga - I guess with all things there are two sides. Sadly, sometimes it works and sometimes it just doesnt :( I find it really hard not to be able to tell my sister about what's really happening in my life.

SG/Osbasso - We're all showing our age :)

Scarlet/Dazza - Enjoy! :)