Adapted from author Philippa Gregory's historical novel of the same name, director Justin Chadwick's atmospheric period drama follows the fierce competition between sisters Mary (Scarlett Johansson) and Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman) to win the affections of Tudor king Henry VIII (Eric Bana). Anne and Mary Boleyn are under pressure from their father and uncle to help maintain the family's rich legacy and ensure their further prosperity by winning the affections of none other than the king of England (Eric Bana). But life in the royal court is far different than it was in the countryside where these two sisters were raised, and before long their bid to earn the love of the king has transformed two once-happy sisters into bitter rivals. At first, it appears that Mary has triumphed in winning the king's favor by becoming his mistress and bearing him an illegitimate child. Despite her early success, however, Mary has underestimated just how clever and cunning her sibling can truly be. Not only does the relentless Anne manage to edge aside her sister in the eyes of King Henry, but she also succeeds in averting his gaze from his wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, as well. Mary is driven by genuine affection for King Henry, while her sister Anne has only kept up the charade in a desperate bid to become the queen of England. Now, the growing chasm between two sisters is mirrored on a larger scale as England becomes divided more than ever before. As the consequences of their actions threaten to alter the course of an entire nation, these two sisters will ultimately discover that the only place they will find true strength and loyalty is in family, and that no matter what the consequences they will forever be bound by blood.
by Jason Buchanan synopsis