Academy Award winner Jodie Foster and international action star Chow Yun-Fat bring to life the epic true story of a woman who challenged the heart of a king and inspired the destiny of a nation. English school teacher Ann... more »a Leonowens has traveled to Siam to educate the fifty-eight children of King Mongkut. If she has preconceived notions about the East, the King has similar notions about the West. But amid the danger of growing political unrest, their respect for each other slowly turns into something more.« less
"I found this movie to be BRILLIANT! Jodie Foster is outstanding in the role of Anna Leonowens - she is a beautiful mix of bravery, intelligence and Victorian elegance. Chow Yun-Fat is also outstanding in the role of King Mongkut - he emits a regal quality as well that of compassion and intelligence. The cinematography is out of this world and the directing exquisite. The dialogue is perfect, and it strikes just the right chord of polished writing. The musical score is breathtaking. The lush scenery and thick emotion is set to elegant, strong, and graceful music. It is forceful when it need be and then fades quietly into the background... at times supporting a scene with gentle rolling waves of ear pleasure. Oh and the costumes! They are completely amazing, and startling in their detail. From the majestic elephants to the smallest noble they are all cloaked in carefully chosen fabrics.This movie in all its entirety affected me very deeply. The intense emotions of the characters are so expertly performed and directed that they feel incredibly real. These emotions, which course through "Anna and the King," create a moving, exciting, and anticipatory experience. I am very grateful to all of those involved in the making of "Anna and the King" for producing such a beautiful and extraordinary film. Anyone who is contemplating viewing this movie... do it. I only hope that you, too will have the pleasure of being able to fully indulge in this feast for the senses."
Charity Bishop | 11/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"(....) really doesn't mention all the extra "goodies" that they've encluded in this Special Edition of Anna and the King, so I was thrilled to discover a good two hours of behind-the-scenes features, a trailor, music video, and more! The DVD quality is excellent, very sharp and clear, with a very well-done enter-menu feature, and deleted scenes, including an extention of the "White Elephant" sequence, and the "Prologue" and "Epilogue" scenes. The six featurettes are pretty repetative - if you've seen one, you've seen them all, but the interviews with Foster and Yun-Fat are pretty darn cool. All in all, a wonderful DVD from Fox... and an excellent film. If you enjoy epic romances, simple tales made exceptional by breathing romance and a passionate, gorgeous backdrop, with sets made perfect down to the tiniest detail, a film that will make you laugh, and make you cry... Anna and the King is it! The movie of the year! Don't miss it... and don't miss this edition!"
Grand Style Entertainment
Charity Bishop | 04/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How disappointing that this brilliant and spectacular movie was almost ignored totally at the recent Academy Awards. This version of "Anna & the King" is superb entertainment, with all it's grandeur and spectacle that is sadly lacking in many box office hits these days. Although the musical version "The King and I" will always remain as a great classic, this one surpasses it with its dramatic content and impact. This film boasts superb photography and tight production values. The musical soundtrack is outstanding, and of course the costume designing also deserves accolades. As far as acting is concerned, why was Keith Chin as Prince Chulalonkorn not get nominated for an academy award? His performance was excellent. Of course there is much debate of Jodie Foster as the English teacher. I feel that she gave her best (as usual) in the role. Chow Yun Fat who is more renowned for his action roles is a pleasant surprise. His screen presence is dominating and was perfect as the King. This must be his most challenging role in his career, and he handled it very well, and made a very believable King Mongkut. This movie should be on the top of the list of any collector's list. I just cannot wait for the DVD version to be released, as it deserves to be watched over and over again. Despite its box-office disappointment, I am quite certain it will gain its popularity on the Video and DVD market."
A fabulous costume drama
Charity Bishop | 03/21/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having loathed the movie 'The King and I', from the time I first saw it, I was rather reluctant to sit through another version of this story, but was truly delighted with the new version. Although the source of the film (Anna Leonowens) took great liberties with truth in her diaries, if you disregard that, and approach the film as a grand action/love story, you won't be disappointed. The real surprise of the film was the performance by Chow Yun-Fat as Mongkut. Although I have seen a few of his John Woo films, they didn't do justice to his acting talents. As the King,Yun-Fat portrays a man juggling the problems of modernising a fractured country without antagonising the nobles or submitting to British colonisation. He conveys much with a glance or smile, and his English has improved enormously since "The Replacement Killers". Jodie Foster was also very good, and although her accent seemed a bit Scottish at times, I doubt any other actress could have done as well. When you combine these two actors with an excellent cast of children, a fine script, lavish costumes and breathtaking scenery, how can you lose?"
Captivating story of history, societal change, love.
KH | Wisconsin, USA | 08/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a younger person who's missed many of the "older" movies (like "The King and I") I can only see movies for the works they are -- I do not have older works in my repertoire through which to compare, contrast and filter my viewing experience.Having just viewed Anna & the King both in letterbox and cropped views (I prefer letterbox, though smaller on a screen, the camera work and screenplay are absolutely stunning, and missing these outer details does detract from the mood of the picture), I greatly enjoyed the storyline, the actors, and the cinematography.Admittedly Jodie Foster's English accent is a bit forced, but I commend her ability to retain it consistently throughout the picture (as opposed to some actors who've been unable to do so, regardless, they did receive outstanding reviews for their performance, nonnative accent notwithstanding). I felt Jodie's portrayal as being prim and well-educated was very accurate given the time period -- what is considered acceptable today would have been considered absolutely abhorrent in Anna's time. We seem to forget that so many things considered perfectly fine today, simply weren't done in the mid-1800's, particularly in the ultra-traditionalized societies like those of England and Siam (to name two). American attitudes have been long considered far fringe by non-Western societies around the world, both then and today.I found the choice of actors for Siam characters to be appropriate and believable. The character portrayals were deep and true. I felt as though I was watching people, getting to know them, not watching actors playing roles. The transitions of time and space were effective and I didn't find myself yearning for "missed pieces." The love story caught me by surprise. I found it deeply moving and the tension between Anna, and the King, and the careful play of the King's other wives, to be wonderful. I strained to hear every word and catch every expression. I appreciated the dialog and found the scenes well-written, appropriately succinct and yet adequately played to offer a "newcomer" like me an appreciation of the many issues which underlay the story. This movie tugged at my heartstrings, as I watched these people and families grow and come to love together, and I was moved to tears repeatedly. Watching a deep love grow between Anna and the King, a love borne of respect and intelligence and attraction, watching them balance their societal dictates with the concerns of country, politics and their feelings for one another -- and of course all those beautiful children -- was like watching a gentle dance of butterflies on a summer's breeze. I felt it was beautifully written and beautifully played. I give it a "thumbs up" for the actors, directorship, costuming and cinematography. Definitely a movie worth seeing!"