Friday, March 11, 2011

The Young Victoria (2009)

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. 
There isn't anything else I can remember that stood out to me, maybe some mild language and with the Victorian styles some of the ladies' gowns are a bit low cut.

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,


Michaela said...

Oh, oh, oh! I want to see the movie SOOOO badly!!! o.O Ever since it first came out and I saw the trailer at Walmart I've wanted to see it...however the "kissing scenes" you mentioned keep me from watching the movie. :-/ I'd love to see and edited version!

- and I agree, the costumes are STUNNING. :sigh:

Miss Laurie said...

Michaela, like I said the kissing scenes aren't bad. Mostly it's just them saying good morning to each other and kissing a few times. Both are clad in white night shirts.
Christian movie reviewers Plugged In Online has a detailed review where they break it down and tell you exactly what to expect (

~Miss Laurie
Old-Fashioned Charm

Hannah said...

It was one of the few movies I left all five kiddos and hubby home and sat in the dark theater all by myself and had a splendid and refreshing time! I loved it! I saw a bit of it again on TV recently and it made me want to watch the whole thing again as soon as Netflix can get it here. I thought the whole movie was very well done.

And your review was great too!

Jemimah said...

I haven't watched "The Young Victoria" nor "Victoria and Albert" yet. But I would very much like to. Both seem like interesting movies.

CAB said...

Hello - new to your blog, but hope to spend more time here soon. I watched "The Young Victoria" a few nights ago to see if it would be appropriate for my children to watch as we are currently studying this period in history and more specifically are reading "In the Days of Queen Victoria" by Eva March Tappan. I enjoyed all the visual elements you described - the scenery and costumes were gorgeous, however, the relationships did not fall in line with what we have been reading about in "In the Days of Queen Victoria". The relationship between the mother and Victoria seemed quite harsh in the movie, but not so in the book. Also, the early relationship between Victoria and Albert after their marriage and the inclusion of the "Lady in waiting" from Victoria's youth contained animosity in the film that I did not expect. All in all, I liked the movie as a whole, but was saddened by these differences and now that I'm aware of it, will look into the miniseries you mentioned in your post.

Bethany said...

I went into this movie skeptical because, YES, the older "Victoria and Albert" is SO GOOD! LOVE IT!

Although the movie was pretty and Rupert Friend made a handsome Albert (yes, love the hair), it didn't really make it for me. I didn't hate it, but it seemed like the romance was sort of shallow...they just sort of run around giggling for 20 minutes. Compared to the complexity of the longer version that was extremely disappointing.

So I guess I enjoyed it (like you said, visually it's beautiful), but I think they needed to make it a little longer (it's shorter than most movies) or narrow their focus... I don't know how to explain it exactly.

Enjoyed your review and pictures.

Marian said...

I love this movie--it might be my favourite romantic costume drama yet. I like that it's about two quiet people--you can tell that they really love each other, but they're kind of shy about it at first. Plus, the costumes and music are amazing! :)

I didn't think the kissing scenes were that bad, especially since Victoria and Albert are already married. And it's on DVD now, so we just fast-forward that stuff.

Anonymous said...

This was an AMAZING movie. Splendid acting, costumes, scenery, you name it. I will have to look into Victoria and Albert.
In answer to your question about my favorite monarchs, I would say King Arthur. I know people debate whether he was real or not, but anything medieval I love, him especially. Have you ever seen BBC's current show Merlin? The costumes, music, and scenery are beautiful. I would recommend skimming through the magic scenes, as some of them are a tad dark. But I love that show. I am hoping they will make a new movie portraying Arthur's life really well. Most of the new stuff centers on Merlin. Have you viewed the movie King Arthur with Keira Knightely? I would love to read a review on that, as I haven't seen it. :)

Melanie said...

I LOVE "THE YOUNG VICTORIA"!!!!! I watched it for the first time the other week and have now ordered my own copy, but I have to wait for it to come with my pre-ordered copy of "Tangled". Anyway, I love the movie, Prince Albert is so sweet, and I love Victoria's spirit and determination. The music, scenery, costumes, etc. are all so beautiful, and I thought the filmmakers did a wonderful job putting Victoria's story to screen without rushing it and confusing the viewer (like some docudramas). And I don't care whether the attempted-assassination-scenario was true to life or not, I loved that scene and the way Prince Albert put himself in harm's way to protect Victoria, and his and Victoria's talk afterwards. Love it!! Definitely one of my favorite movies. :-)

Maddy said...

I thought that the Young Victoria was AMAZING! I was not familiar with the Victorian period when the film came out, and I had a limited knowledge about Queen Victoria. I thought of her as a hard, vicious and miserable Queen, judging her by her portraits of when she was older. However, when I watched this film, I was introduced into this whole other side of Queen Victoria that I never knew about. I totally agree that both Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend put on amazing I performances. I agree that Julian Fellows did produce an amazing script, and I am such a huge fan of his work (Downton Abbey). I thought that the costume design was absolutely phenomenal as well! This film caused me to research more about the Victorian era, and I think that the romance between Albert and Victoria is just beautiful. One of my absolute favourite films, I love your blog.

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