Young Victoria is the story of Queen Victoria's early years. Emily Blunt stars as Queen Victoria, and she was nominated for quite a few Best Actress awards, most notably, the Golden Globe.
The film begins a year before Victoria becomes Queen and continues through the first few years of her reign. I was not terribly familiar with Queen Victoria's early life, and I found the film fascinating. Emily Blunt shines as Victoria. She plays her with a beautiful mix of energy, youthfulness, spunk and properness. This Victoria is caring, idealistic and eager. Part of the story focuses on Victoria's desire for love and uneasiness about finding a partner who will love her for her rather her throne. Through a modern lens, it's both a beautiful and frightening love story. It's a quick courtship, and it works for them, but the modern skeptic in me cannot imagine a courtship of mostly letters, especially when you're the Queen of England and have so much to protect.
It is a love story, but it's mostly a fascinating look at the role of royalty and the role of women at the time. Victoria is aware of her fortune and prestige, even as she longs to rebel against it and reach the real people. All in all, it's a lovely little film. What keeps it from being a great film, despite Emily Blunt's strongly nuanced performance, was my lack of emotional involvement with the story. Despite not knowing much about this time period, I felt somewhat removed from the events. It's a personal reaction, and I'm curious to know if others felt a similar disconnect. I do recommend seeing the film, but it doesn't quite make my ten best of the year list.
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Running time: 105 minutes
Release date: It will be out on Blu-ray and dvd April 20, 2010 (and it's still playing in some theaters).
Source: I saw it at the Spectrum Theater.
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