Anna and the King (2000)

Anna and the King



Critic Consensus: Beautiful cinematography can't prevent Anna and the King from being boring and overly lengthy.

Movie Info

The true story of Anna Leonowens' experiences as a governess to the children of an eccentric Asian king has been adapted into a book of memoirs, a biography, a stage play called Anna and the King of Siam -- which was adapted into a 1946 film, a stage musical called The King and I -- made into both the live-action The King and I (1956)) and the animated The King and I (1999) feature films, and a short-lived 1972 TV series. Now the story is brought to the screen yet again, as Jodie Foster stars as … More

Rating: PG-13 (for some intense violent sequences)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Classics
Directed By: ,
Written By: Steve Meerson, Peter Krikes
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 31, 2000
20th Century Fox - Official Site


as Anna Leonowens

as King Mongkut

as Tuptim

as The Kralahome

as General Alak

as Prince Chowfa

as Prince Chowfa

as Princess Fa-Ying

as Prince Chulalongkorn

as Moonshee

as Lady Thiang

as Lord John Bradley

as Lady Bradley

as Mycroft Kincaid

as Khun Phra Balat

as Interpreter

as Lady Jao Jom Manda U...

as King Chulalongkorn

as Captain Blake

as Scarfaced Leader

as Justice Phya Phrom

as Second Judge

as Third Judge

as Lady of Court No. 1

as Lady of Court No. 2

as Lady of Court No. 3

as Lady of Court No. 4

as Lady of Court No. 5

as Scout No. 1

as Scout No. 2

as Siamese Trader

as Shipping Dock Woman

as Distraught Villager
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Anna and the King

All Critics (116) | Top Critics (30)

Close, but no cigar.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Lush, beautifully shot, but quite draggy.

January 1, 2000
New York Post
Top Critic

It is pleasant, occasionally amusing -- and often dull.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

Tennant seems genuinely unsure what mood he's striving for here.

January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Serve as a slap in the face.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Village Voice
Top Critic

Nothing special, nothing particularly heartwarming.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Anna and the King

The plot wasn't focused enough, trying to fit in too many themes and coming up short and shallow on every one. Wonderful cinematography though, with beautiful locations.

Matthew Slaven
Matthew Slaven

Super Reviewer

The king of Siam employs a British woman to teach his more than fifty children.
This is lush costume drama, full of all the pomp and circumstance and majestic panning shots that you would expect. Occasionally the cinematography actually reminded me of The English Patient which is no small compliment. And Jodie Foster is a premier actress, especially when it comes to playing vulnerability and her character's attempts at overcoming vulnerability. She has that pout and fearful but determined look in her eye on full display in many of her scenes.
However, I think the film is quite muddled and uneven. First, there is a great deal of talk about colonization. After all, one of the principal conflicts in the film is internal to the king's educative mission: how does he push for modernization when the definition of modernity is to be like his oppressors? How does he resolve the contradiction of tradition and modernity? These are compelling questions, both academically and cinematically. But they are not adequately explored. For example, Anna travels with two Indian servants, and their objections to colonization's evils are restricted to a single look they share during the first ten minutes of the film. What is more, the king has few scenes taking this conflict on head-on, and the one character who does is later villainized.
Second, the film is uneven because there are several dramatic, heart-tugging scenes that are immediately followed by sprawling shots of beautiful scenery or teaching sequences in which everybody is smiling and laughing as though nothing of consequence happened just five seconds ago.
Overall, despite Foster's classic performance -- the type that has made her famous -- there are still too many structural flaws to ignore.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


Such a beautiful story. Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-Fat play their roles perfectly. I loved it.

Rachel F

Super Reviewer

Anna and the King Quotes

– Submitted by Sumit K (3 years ago)

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