Lady Jane Review
By Christopher Null
Released and immediately forgotten in 1986, Lady Jane is a fairly staid, somewhat off-center, and very long recreation of the very brief life and times of the 16-year-old Lady Jane Grey, who ruled England for nine days in 1553.
Starring Helena Bonham Carter as the little queen and Cary Elwes as her arranged husband, Jane dutifully takes us through her religious devotion, the difficulties of being married to a womanizer and drunk, their eventual coming around to love one another, Jane's rise to queen and rapid deposition, and eventually, her execution at the hands of Bloody Mary.
History buffs will probably enjoy the film, though little of it will come as a surprise. There just isn't much behind-the-scenes detail that you can't easily find in an encyclopedia entry, and reading that isn't going to take you 140 minutes.
Lady Jane isn't without its charms. A very young Carter and Elwes turn in interesting performances. Seeing Carter's bushy eyebrows alone are worth at least a minute of your time. John Wood and an already-bald Patrick Stewart are also fun performances.
In the end I'm reminded of Elizabeth, although it was far more lush a production, which was equally straightforward and ultimately soulless. The good news is that Jane Grey had a heart with Elizabeth did not. And that alone makes the film somewhat worth watching.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Friday 7th February 1986
Distributed by: Paramount Home Video
Production compaines: Capital Equipment Leasing, Paramount Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes: 57%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 3
Cast & Crew