The Other Boleyn Girl

By Susan King, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer In the new historical melodrama “The Other Boleyn Girl,” which opens Friday, Natalie Portman plays Anne Boleyn, the woman who would become the second of six wives of King Henry VIII (Eric Bana), only to be beheaded. Scarlett Johansson plays Mary Boleyn, Anne’s sister, and rival for the hand and the bed of the handsome Henry. What would happen if we pit Portman and Johansson together as rivals? Who would win that competition? They are popular, highly in-demand young women in their 20s who mix major studio films with small, independent fare. They have both made successful transitions from child actress to adult, received major award nominations and been the muses of legendary directors. Neither has shied away from nudity. But who is actually the better actress? Or are they on an even playing field?
Alex Bailey / Columbia Pictures / Focus Features
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