Queen Victoria is my favorite monarch and her era is my favorite time period, but to some extent I wasn't very excited when this film came, it was one of those "I'll see it eventually" movies. I asked for the DVD for my last birthday (July 2010) and enjoyed watching it for the first time with my family. Even after watching it I wasn't very impressed, probably because I love the 2001 Victoria & Albert miniseries and was comparing the two. This is why it's taken me so long to review it. But I re-watched The Young Victoria today and wanted to share this film with you!
The Young Victoria is a simply scrumptious look at the early years of Queen Victoria's life, her courtship with Prince Albert and her first few years as England's monarch. Each scene is so filled with beautiful things! Indoors rich woods, wall papers and fabrics create a stunning effect. Outdoors well manicured gardens and exteriors of huge palaces and country houses are stunning. I do wish I had seen this on the big screen if only to be wowed by the scenery!
Music was so grand and lovely, it fit the beautiful scenery and swept me away making me feel like I was part of the story. There were some lovely scenes from Victoria's favorite operas and some lovely classical pieces played as part of the scenes as well. I particularly loved the ball scene where Victoria and Albert dance together swept up in their mutual attraction and the music. Lovely!
The costumes are gorgeous! Both the ladies and the gentlemen are completely fitted out with Victorian wear from head to toe! Victoria's dresses, my favorites, were simply exquisite! Yards of rich luscious fabric charmingly decorated with lace, flowers, feathers and jewels. Even her mourning dresses are so beautifully designed! I particularly liked seeing costumes from scenes like Victoria's coronation and wedding so beautifully recreated from paintings and sketches of the times!
The script by Julian Fellowes is amazing! I really enjoyed the history it included, particularly the view of Victoria's isolated childhood with the many rules she had to follow. As much as I like Victoria & Albert, I really enjoyed the way the courtship between Victoria and Prince Albert was portrayed in this film. It shows how their relationship developed over time through their mutual interests and particularly through letters.
There are a few kissing scenes, while Victoria and Albert are on their honeymoon, that were a tad embarrassing to watch with my family, but they were brief and not that bad. They also provide some sweet dialog like Albert's desire to have lots of children and their promise to take care of each other.
I was a bit skeptical about Emily Blunt playing Queen Victoria because to me she is too pretty and doesn't look much like the real Queen Victoria. But I was very impressed by her solid performance. She captured Victoria's determination, free spirit, and kind heart.
I was also worried about Rupert Friend as Prince Albert. I don't think he really looks much like Prince Albert did, but I think did a fantastic job. And I actually like how they designed his hair with a nifty swoop on top. Together the actors made a lovely couple and portrayed this historic romance very sweetly.
There were so many other wonderful actors in this film, people who period dramas like this wouldn't be complete without them. You might recognize: Jim Broadbent, Harriet Walter, Mark Strong, Rachael Stirling, Julian Glover and Miranda Richardson. All of the actors did a wonderful job in their roles, I really enjoyed them all!
In conclusion I highly recommend The Young Victoria, it's such a lovely look at the life of the amazing Queen Victoria. It only covers the first bit of her life so I also recommend Victoria & Albert which shows more of her married life and her children. I hope to review V&A sometime but I haven't seen it in a year or two so I'll have to freshen up on that before I review it.
Have you seen The Young Victoria? If you have what did you think of it? Who are your favorite monarchs to read and watch movies about?
I hope you all have a lovely weekend!
Very Truly Your's,