Pride and Prejudice. Sense and Sensibility. Emma. Sense a recurring theme? They're all written by Jane Austen, and they all take place during the regency period. And as much as I love them all, I was thrilled to find another period drama that is placed in a different era. What era would that be, you ask? The Victorian era. :)
The Young Victoria
*Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee and starring Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend
As the only legitimate heir of England's King William, young Princess Victoria becomes caught up in the political machinations of her own family. Victoria's mother wants her to sign a regency order, while her Belgian uncle schemes to arrange a marriage between the future monarch and Prince Albert, the man who will become the love of her life.
My Thoughts: From the moment this movie began, I knew I would love it. Everything about TYV is vibrant and colorful and just plain beautiful. I loved the scenery, too. A few of Victoria's hairstyles were strange, but I think Emily Blunt wore them well. Albert was my ideal gentleman: handsome, polite, witty, kind, and strong of character. He also loved Victoria for herself -- not her throne. I really liked how Victoria eventually acknowledged that she needed to let Albert assist her in ruling, especially since you don't see that much in modern films. I can't give an honest opinion on the historical accuracy, though, since I haven't done much studying on the real Queen Victoria. *blushes* This film definitely got me excited to do a little more research behind the longest reigning monarch in British history.
Pros: The story really draws you in and the dialogue is wonderful. The soundtrack took my breath away and added the perfect touch to each scene. The costumes are lovely and almost completely modest, which made me happy, since in most period dramas I have seen the ladies wear extremely low-necked gowns.
Cons: There is quite a bit of romance between Victoria and Albert. Most of it happens after they are married, which makes it not so bad, but it's still there. We skipped one or two scenes; not because they were necessarily inappropriate, just kind of awkward. There is some violence, but it is more dramatic than bloody. One use of the word "d--n".
Victoria: "You don't suggest I find a husband to play it for me?"
Albert: "I should find one who would play it with you, not for you."
Victoria: "Some palaces are not at all what they seem. Even a palace can be a prison."
Prince Albert: [accepting his letter from Victoria] "As a matter of interest, will a time come when I read them first?"
Baron Stockmar: "You'll enjoy this. She has a real flair for description."
Victoria: [to the Council] "I am young, but I am willing to learn, and I mean to devote my life to the service of my country and my people. I look for your help in this. I know I shall not be disappointed."
Queen Adelaide: "You are confusing stubbornness with strength, my dear. And I warn you, the people will not like you for it."
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
And my ending thoughts are: go see it! My main complaint about the movie was that it seemed far too short (that's a good sign, right? :)).
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