Anna and the King | Chicago Reader

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A musical number or two might have balanced the overdetermined politics and spectacle in this version of a story based on the 19th-century diaries of Anna Leonowens, an English schoolteacher hired by Siam's king to direct his children's education. Instead of deepening the significance of the intellectual and emotional tension between Anna (Jodie Foster) and King Mongkut (Chow Yun-fat), the passion of one of his concubines (Bai Ling) for another man—and its consequences—seems like an afterthought. Andy Tennant directed a screenplay by Steve Meerson and Peter Krikes.

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