Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Young Victoria

New review by The Movie Snob

The Young Victoria (B+). This independent flick stars Emily Blunt (Sunshine Cleaning) as Victoria, Queen of Great Britain from 1837-1901. As the only heir apparent to the throne, Victoria has grown up a virtual prisoner in the palace, and she is not well-prepared to assume the duties of the monarchy. Relatives and politicians alike jockey for position and try to manipulate the young queen, most especially the prime minister Lord Melbourne (Paul Bettany, Wimbledon). King Leopold of Belgium, who was Victoria's uncle, sent his nephew (and Victoria's first cousin) Prince Albert (Rupert Friend, Pride & Prejudice) to England to make his own play for the young queen, and it famously happened that the two fell in love and wed. The movie is most successful as a love story, and as such it works very well indeed. It falls a little short in explaining the politics of the period, such as why Victoria's early decisions caused a public outcry against her, and its very brief coverage of events after the royal wedding might better have been left out. But as a romance I thought it was a very good little movie.


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