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LADY JANE (1985)

CAST

HELENA BONHAM CARTER, CARY ELWES, PATRICK STEWART, FRANCES LAPOTAIRE.

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Featuring the lead debut of the superb Helena Bonham Carter, LADY JANE chronicles the brief story of Lady Jane Grey, the 16 year-old forced to ascend the throne of England, following the death of her young cousin Edward VI. Also forced into a marriage by her manipulative parents, she at first detests her new husband Guildford Dudley (Cary Elwes), but soon through the power of youthful idealism the two grow to love each other and set out to rule England and bring about great reforms. However the young couples plans are cut tragically short by Princess Mary.... LADY JANE is a long film, almost three hours, but nevers seems so. The thoughtful and intelligent script takes a few historical liberties, but remains sincere and admiring in its intentions thus doing the often-neglected story a lot of justice. Theatre impressario Trevor Nunn makes his film directing debut and does a great job, bringing out the very best from his excellent cast. However holding the entire film together is the brilliant performance by the perfectly cast heroine, Helena Bonham Carter. Not since this has she given such an intense and honest performance. She is ably supported by Cary Elwes as her young husband and Patrick Stewart as her father. LADY JANE packs so many cinematic elements into its potentially stuffy story.....young love, historical tragedy, religious war, monarchy in crisis, that it is possible for anyone to relate to its characters. Underrated at the time of its release, I think it will eventually be remembered as something very special. See it...

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