Monday, December 6, 2010

The Young Victoria

Over Thanksgiving break, I watched The Young Victoria for the third time. Normally, I don't watch a movie more than twice, unless its one of my absolute favorites. Although it's not an absolute favorite, I still thoroughly enjoy this film and would recommend it to anyone.

This movie reminds me a lot of Pride and Prejudice, which I love. I like that it's historical and it centers on the royal family.

It follows Queen Victoria (Emily Blunt) through her late teen years and her refusal to grant her mother and her mother's power-thirsty companion, Sir Conroy, regency. Because she was under 18 while  in line for the throne, it was possible for Victoria to sign her power away to her mother and Sir Conroy. Luckily, King William IV dies after Victoria turns 18, and she assumes the throne. Her cousin Albert is forced to pursue her by King Leopold of Belgium for political power. But Albert  falls for her, and begins to act  on his own motivations and feelings, rather than the King's. The film also touches on Victoria and Albert's marriage.

Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend are superb in their roles of Victoria and Albert. The film also has a strong supporting cast that includes Jim Broadbent (Professor Slughorn in Harry Potter and Bridget's dad in Bridget Jones's Diary), Paul Bettany (A Knight's Tale, A Beautiful Mind), and Miranda Richardson (The Phantom of the Opera, Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter). All are films I love, mind you.

There is some amazing scenery, from inside palaces to carriage rides to strolls in the garden, including excellent shots of Buckingham Palace.

The story between Victoria and Albert is romantic and sweet, and the factual explanation provided at the end of the film, just before the credits roll, left me teary.

Great cast. Great scenery and costumes. Great romance. Great history.  ( A-)

The film was nominated for three Oscars, including Best Art Direction, Makeup, and Costumes. It won for costumes.

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