December 24, 2009

The Strength To Meet Her Destiny

I love period films and I confess that I am an Anglophile so when my friend Marie told me about the movie The Young Victoria with Emily Blunt, I couldn’t wait to see it. Jon, Abbi and Tom viewed the movie with me on a cold rainy Saturday……perfect day for a very lovely film.

The film is about the early years of England’s Queen Victoria which started with her ascent to the throne of England as well as her love story with Prince Albert (Rupert Friend). As the film progresses, one discovers about how the young queen grew up to be a steadfast and headstrong person. She was a pawn in the politics of the day as people around her tried to control her but she grew to play the game wisely although not with missteps. I did like how the movie showed her to be so human instead of the iconic historic figure we all read about in books. I also did enjoy finding out how her friendship to Prince Albert developed to eventually become love. Yes, she married for love and not because of alliances, territorial conquests or for power. That was very refreshing.

Emily Blunt was an excellent choice for the young queen. I’ve always enjoyed her performance in The Devil Wears Prada and Sunshine Cleaning and this more dramatic turn proves well fitting for her. She had the right amount of subtlety, vulnerability and spunk when needed to. And it was quite pleasing to have a true English actress play the role, for as an audience member, I didn’t get distracted with a faux English accent that comes and goes reminiscent of other period films I’ve seen (I won’t mention it here). Rupert Friend was a well matched Prince Albert. He was soft spoken, unswerving and tender. In fact, the whole cast was great from Paul Betany (Lord Melbourne), Harriet Walter (Queen Adelaide with a flawless accent.....and I must say having seen her recently in Mary Stuart....she does play royalty quite well), Mark Strong (Sir John Conroy who you’d immediately dislike), Jim Broadbent (King William) and Miranda Richardson (Dutchess of Kent).

The script by Gosford Park's Jullian Fellows was very engaging and I loved the Victorian costumes as well as the set. It does really put you in that era and takes you out of your present reality. At least that’s how I felt. I knew midway through the movie that this one should be part of my dvd collection.


Lani said...

Did you see that Sarah Ferguson's one of the producers? I read that the Princess Beatrice had a cameo as one of the ladies-in-waiting.

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