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Movie Review: The Young Victoria

Alternate Title: Its Good to be Queen

Story: The image most of us have of Queen Victoria is of a stern, plump, widow wearing lady. Victoria is the longest serving monarch to date (63 years). This terrific telling of a story that most of us do not know is of the young Victoria, who was crowned at a mere 18 years of age. Deftly directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and beautifully written by Oscar winning Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) we meet the young queen - and are enchanted.

We get to see the behind the scenes political struggle for power, much like TV's The Tudors, but luckily no one gets beheaded in the 19th century. I was immediately drawn into the life of this child/Queen as she is pulled by the various forces who want to be her puppet master. It is also the very romantic story of how she met the love of her life, Prince Albert and how she probably turned into the legendary Monarch that she became. Let's face it - she brought us the Victorian Age and the list of novels, art, architecture and films emanating from that period is richly enormous.

The production values are top rate including the photography by Hagen Bogdanski, the editing by Jill Bilcock and Matt Garner and the powerful music by Ilan Eshkeri.

Take a break from the CGI end of the year blockbusters and settle in for a very entertaining cinematic experience. I am adding this film to my Best of 2009 list.


Queen Victoria "Discusses John Brown, Man-servant and companion" Literary discussion poem animation. Very cool video.


Acting: Emily Blunt as Queen Victoria was wonderful. She is a terrific actress and will have a long career for sure. Rupert Friend as Prince Albert was a perfect choice for the role. He was great. Paul Bettany as Lord Melbourne was terrific as was Miranda Richardson as Victoria's mother, the Duchess of Kent. Jim Broadbent as King William cannot give a bad performance. He was top rate as always. Mark Strong as the evil Sir John Conroy has the bad guy role down to a science. He was the evil Lord Blackwell in the latest Sherlock Holmes film.

Trivia: Emily Blunt is a British actress best known for her role in The Devil Wears Prada. Her ex-boyfriend Michael Bublé's wrote the hit single "Everything" for her. She is also on his album "Call Me Irresponsible", where she sings briefly at the end of the song "Me and Mrs. Jones". She recently announced her engagement to actor John Krasinski (The Office).Victoria and Albert had 42 grandchildren and their current descendants number into the hundreds. As of 2009, the European monarchs and former monarchs descended from Victoria are: Queen Elizabeth II (as well as her husband), King Harald V of Norway, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, King Juan Carlos I of Spain (as well as his wife), and the deposed kings Constantine II of Greece (as well as his wife) and Michael of Romania. The pretenders to the thrones of Serbia, Russia, Prussia and Germany, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Hanover, Hesse, Baden and France (Legitimist) are also descendants. Several places in the world have been named after Victoria, including two Australian States (Victoria and Queensland), the capitals of British Columbia (Victoria), and Saskatchewan (Regina), the capital of the Seychelles, Africa's largest lake, and Victoria Falls. The Victoria Crowned Pidgeon is named after the Queen. Think Victoria's Secret is named after her too (only kidding)?

Predilection: I like films about the British Royalty.

Critters: An adorable scene stealing Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, horses and two other dogs.

Food: There were some royal dinners but not much food is eaten.

Sex Spectrum: It seems the Queen liked to role around in the sack.

Soundtrack: Moving and appropriate.

Opening Titles: A short sequence showing the future Queen as a lonely child and then the title of the film. All other credits are at the end.

Visual Art: Attention to detail was terrific. Queen Victoria was the first resident of Buckingham Palace.

Theater Audience: About eight other people.

Weather: It is England - it rains.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I paid attention throughout

Predictability Level: I knew the history but did learn a few things.

Tissue Usage: I got some tears in my eyes towards the end.

Oscar Worthy: Yes. Emily Blunt has already gotten some nominations and will get more.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen. A good rental would be Mrs Bown, a film with Judi Dench and Billy Connelly about Queen Victoria who is deeply depressed after the death of her husband, disappears from the public. Her servant Brown, who adores her, through caress and admiration brings her back to life, but that relationship creates scandalous situation and is likely to lead to monarchy crisis.

Length: 100 minutes.