Lady Jane (1986)

Lady Jane (1986), directed by Trevor Nunn.

A costume history wrapped around a romance about a young woman who was a nine days wonder: she was Queen of England for that amount of time. The history is ok but we have seen it too often: all those centuries of cynical cunning and political jockeying for the throne, with beheadings for the losers. And sometimes for the winners.

The problem with the romance portion is that it is really, really drippy. The young lovers are not only silly for each other, they are stupidly idealistic without any notion of how to change the world. Well, that doesn't last long.

Jane would have been the rightful queen if she had waited her turn after Elizabeth, but that would have been 50 years later. The treason was cutting in line ahead of Mary.

Helena Bonham Carter and Cary Elwes are 20 and 24 here and look younger, almost child-like at times. Innocents ground up in a cruel world.

I've always liked John Wood (WarGames (1983), Ladyhawke (1985)). He's the master manipulator and it's all his fault.

Patrick Stewart looks just like a starship captain in disguise.

PG-13 with brief nudity. The DVD video encode is a generous 7.5GB but the image is still pretty soft. Black levels are ok but the colors are muted.

Historical postscript. Did Henry VIII kill his six wives? No, only two. Memorize this:

divorced, beheaded, died
divorced, beheaded, survived

He had one child each from his first three wives, all of whom became monarch:

Which wife did he love the most? He is buried next to Jane Seymour, who died of infection 12 days after giving birth to Edward.