(out of 5)
An impressive performance by a young Helena Bonham Carter, is one of the highlights of this solid period film. She plays Lady Jane Grey, the retiring young woman who was used as a political pawn by her ambitious father to take over the throne of England. Following the death of Henry VIII’s son Edward, the seat of power, which should have gone to Henry’s staunch Catholic daughter Mary Tudor, is instead bequeathed to Jane in an effort to keep a Protestant on the throne. Her reign, at the age of 16, lasts nine days before Mary finally storms in to take over and have Jane executed as a traitor. Within this short lifetime, Jane manages to awaken to knowledge and passion, thanks to what she learns as a new queen and her forced marriage to a man (Cary Elwes) she eventually grows to love. Tragic and melancholy, the film is given intelligent direction by Trevor Nunn and a lush, authentic recreation of the period.
Directed by Trevor Nunn
Produced by Peter Snell
Music by Stephen Oliver
Production Design by Allan Cameron
Film Editing by Anne V. Coates
Cast Tags: Adèle Anderson, Alison Woodgate, Andrew Bicknell, Anna Gilbert, Brian Poyser, Carole Hayman, Cary Elwes, Clyde Pollitt, Cryss Jean Healey, David Waller, Denyse Alexander, Eliza Kern, Gabor Vernon, Guy Henry, Helena Bonham Carter, Ian Hogg, Jane Lapotaire, Janet Henfrey, Jeannette Fox, Jill Bennett, John Abbott, John Wood, Joss Ackland, Krzysia Bialeska, Laura Clipsham, Lee Montague, Matthew Guinness,Michael Goldie, Michael Hordern, Nicky Croydon, Patrick Stewart, Philip Voss, Philippa Luce, Pip Torrens, Richard Johnson, Richard Moore, Richard Vernon, Robert Martin Oliver, Robert Putt, Sara Kestelman, Stewart Harwood, Warren Saire, William Morgan Sheppard, Zelah Clarke