Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Young Victoria

I was finally able to put together the couple of hours to watch The Young Victoria, and now I feel like I have a new project...namely, to read up on Victoria, because I was frustrated not knowing how accurate the movie was. That said, I like the movie. I didn't love it. I'm not sure I would necessarily want to watch it repeatedly, but I did like it.

Emily Blunt did a wonderful job as the young Victoria, and was a convincing princess, queen, petulant daughter, 18-year old in love, and young wife. I watched most of the specials on the Netflix DVD, and particularly enjoyed hearing about how the sets changed from the prison-like qualities of her princess years in Kensington to the the "bridal colors" (white, gold, and blue, I presume) of Buckingham Palace.

I thought all the casting really good--Amanda Richardson as the controlling but ultimately pathetic Duchess of Kent, Victoria's mother; Mark Strong as her puppetmaster and wannabe Tudoresque kingmaker, Sir John Conroy; and especially Rupert Friend as Prince Albert (and not-so-incidentally, his George Wickham was the only part of the 2005 P&P that I actually liked).

I'm not sure how I felt about Paul Bettany as Lord Melbourne because I know so shamefully little about the real character that I don't know if Bettany played him well or not. I found his relationship to the young queen entirely believable, but there was a disconcerting modernity to the character that I never really got over. Maybe it was the hair, which seemed circa 1978 to me rather than circa 1839.

As a costume drama, The Young Victoria was absolutely tremendous. I adored every single one of Victoria's dresses from young girl frocks to the wedding gown, the riding habit, the coronation ball dress, and on and on.

I loved the scenes at the operas also, especially showing Victoria mouthing the words. Nice touch.

Now I'm ready for the sequel...The Middle-Aged Victoria, although I imagine I would complete lose it when Albert dies at the horribly young age of 42. However, seeing him put together The Great Exhibition in 1851 would be great fun and might make up for (or extenuate) the inevitable tragedy when he dies of typhus, leaving Victoria to live on as a widow for the next forty years. And how did they deal with all those children...


  1. I LOVED this movie, and I've been meaning to try out the historical advisor's book as well as one of Victoria's letters and journals that appears to be out of print. Of course the parts in the movie about stepping into your power and finding your own path appealed to me the most...I was very pleasantly surprised and am glad to find that others enjoyed it, too!

  2. I really enjoyed this movie and, like you said, it made me want to know more about Victoria. I just need time to find out more! Oh, and the dresses were really impressive!

  3. I have got to get my husband to pick this up the next time he goes for movies! Or, god forbid, I actually go to the video store myself!

  4. this sounds lovely -- I just added it to my netflix queue!

  5. Seeing this post reminded me I need to put this movie on my Netflix list!