Thursday, February 24, 2011

Film Review: Lady Jane (1986)

Thank goodness for the occasional three-day weekend to save my sanity!  Over the weekend, I watched a couple of period films and thought I'd pass along one of them.

I recently was recommended the film Lady Jane through Netflix.  The film was about Lady Jane Grey, who was asked to step forward and take the throne of England during the tumult of the Reformation that occurred after Henry VIII's death, and sickness of his son Edward.  Along the way, she is forced into marriage with Guilford Dudley, the son of one of the king's ministers.

I'm a total sucker for these dramas surrounding royalty.  Besides, this particular film stars Helena Bonham Carter as Lady Jane, who needs no introduction!  Helena is a fantastic actress, and according to my students, she's "hot" as Bellatrix LeStrange in the Harry Potter series.  (Yes, that one makes me laugh.)  Playing her husband Guilford, on arrangement of her family, is Cary Elwes.  If you're not familiar with him, no fear.  I didn't know him by name, but will admit that I instantly knew him as Westley in Princess Bride.  (Who didn't have a thing for Westley and his "As you wish"-silent-brooding hot guy act? As a young teen when that film first came out, I can honestly say that Westley was an early heart throb!)  In Lady Jane, he plays the ultimate love interest to this spirited, soon-to-be monarch. 

The relationship between Lady Jane and Guilford is funny and has a very 80's feel to it's development.  There is appropriate tension and conflict between them, but it is offset by the type of filming that involved what felt like dream sequences that had me giggling a little at their silliness.  Just as a warning, there is some female nudity, but is all done in those dream sequence moments and is not long.  Overall though, I thought it was worth my time and was an interesting story.


  1. I haven't seen this film in ages!!! I always felt sorry for Lady Jane. Cary Elwes is so young in this movie. I'm adding it to my netflix right now to re-watch!

  2. I have never heard of this film. I think I might like it, though. I really should join Netflix...

  3. I saw this movie years ago; I think it was on A&E or something. It is definitely worth watching even though it's a sad story. Both HBC and Cary Elwes are SO YOUNG in this movie.

  4. I haven't watched this movie in years either, but remembered liking it a lot. Sad, pretty movie.

  5. I loved, loved, loved this movie when I first watched it in high school, and I'm so glad you discovered it!

  6. No way--I just watched this a couple of weeks ago--from Netflix! You can definitely tell it's from the 80s, and I couldn't get over how young those two looked.

    I also had a hard time with the romance. The little that I've read about Lady Jane made it sound like her marriage was not a love match. So I had a hard time suspending reality about that.