Sunday, June 8, 2008

Natalie Dormer Shines in "The Tudors" Finale

I've had my complaints about "The Tudors" this season, but I managed to stick with it and I am glad I did, because it became quite compelling over the last four episodes. I attribute some of it to better pacing (the direction has been flawless) but most of it can be credited to Natalie Dormer. Her rich and complex portrayal of Anne Boleyn is nothing short of stunning. She put her character on a journey that began as a lustful young woman and pawn of her father, who evolved into a romantic mistress, only to be revealed as a masterful manipulator and politician. We really got to see her acting chops half way through the season when her "Queen Anne" became an influential wife who eventually led Henry VIII down a path of regretful decisions. Henry blamed Anne for those tragic decisions (most notably the execution of Sir Thomas Moore). Her swift fall from grace followed.

Dormer's most dazzling performances came in the final two episodes. Anne is rejected by Henry, tried on trumped up charges (along with her brother and alleged lovers), imprisoned and ultimately executed. Jonathan Rys Myers' Henry is unquestionably the protagonist of this series, yet it is Dormer who dominated the screen by pulling us onto Anne's side and making her a sympathetic (and somewhat redeemed) character.

One of my favorite scenes is when Anne is told that her execution will be delayed. The laughter and giggles that ensue when she thinks about the preposterous nature of her situation - of her impending death - is so real I had to rewind my DVR and watch it several times.

I doubt Dormier will appear next season. This series isn't big on flashbacks, ghosts or recreating past moments. If that's the case she will be missed. Now the big task is for Jonathan Rys Myers to loose the looks (unless they stray from historical fact, Henry will be packing on a lot of pounds from here on in) and go a little crazy. He's a gifted actor and I hope he really lets loose.

Enjoy Dormer in the "Behind the Scenes" clip below:


Jane said...

I wasn't a fan of The Tudors either, but tuned in to see this episode and thought it was quite well done. There is something about a beheading which beyond horrifying. What could possibly be worse? Burning at the stake, I suppose, because it would take longer. Will definitely try to tune in next season, so I have something besides Dexter to justify the cost of Showtime. Their movie titles are quite pale in comparison to HBO and Cinemax.

Lisa said...

Oh man, I will have to catch this if there is a great beheading scene. I'm fascinated by that -- my favorite beheading of all is from "I, Claudius" where Claudius' young and slutty wife gets her head cut off and you sort of see it from her eyes as her head whips around...quite amazing. Beyond horrifying, for sure, and I've always been intrigued by the discussions about whether the head lives for a bit. I vote yes.

tonton said...

I do agree with you Lisa. My favourite "beheading scene" is the death of Marie Stuart in Elisabeth R