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Home » Culture and Criticism

The Young Victoria

Submitted by on February 28, 2010 – 11:03 PM9 Comments

The first hour is diverting, with beautiful costumes and some interesting shot-making, but in the end, the movie tries to do too much and doesn’t pull it off. The last five minutes throw their hands up and resort to a montage/title-card mash-up sort of a thing in an attempt to make the whole movie about the great romance between Victoria and Albert — careworn territory that’s the least interesting subplot in an late adolescence crammed full of them.

Emily Blunt is quite good, but the writing that wants to examine the conflict between Victoria the monarch and Victoria the wife lets her down a bit. Mark Strong is again a disappointment. Not bad, but should have been better.

Sarah 43, Death Race 15; 12 of 24 categories completed




  • Bo says:

    It’s understandable that in fictionalized history you have to recreate conversation and private moments with creative license. But it is also disappointing that something that happened in public (the assassination attempt) would be shown with a glaring inaccuracy (Albert was not actually injured). But on a day when I also saw a more serious and unpleasant film, it was eye candy.

  • attica says:

    This story was rendered better in a miniseries from 2001 called “Victoria & Albert” with Victoria Hamilton and Jonathan Firth. The longer format allowed room for the royal conflicts to fester and develop, and permitted tertiary characters a better arc than the shorter flick can do.

    Let’s face it, though: Emily Blunt is drop dead beautiful, but QV was, um, not. Not even as a girl. And ignoring that for the sake of glamming up the story (ITA with the ‘eye candy’ assessment) sacrifices a bunch of interesting points that could have been made.

    But costume drama is like crack to me. Gotta have it; always get high off it.

  • Jen S says:

    That bugged me too, attica, when I saw the previews : “Emily Blunt rewrites history with her amazing bone structure!” I can’t expect her to shrink eight inches, and of course the only reason the movie got made is Em is a talented actress who’s hot right now, but c’mon! The best Victoria I ever saw, physically speaking, was the woman who played her in Blackadder’s Christmas Special. She was short, round as a little rubber ball, and out and out adorable. The way her Albert gazed upon her with unmitigated lurve made her darling.

  • Sandman says:

    She was short, round as a little rubber ball, and out and out adorable. The way her Albert gazed upon her with unmitigated lurve made her darling.

    Makes him rise in one’s estimation, too, I’d think. But why, oh, why do I have this image in my head of Mr. Gladstone or somebody giving a little nudge with his toe and sending HMQ(V) rolling down a palace corridor, arms wheeling…!

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who suspected that Blunt was really too lovely for the role. But eye-candy-making is, I suppose, relative; to judge by The Tudors (tears lid off worm-can), the main qualification for being a ruling head of Europe in the 16th century was that one be no more than a quarter of a century old, and HOT.

  • NZErin says:

    re: Jen S

    Blackadder’s Victoria was the incomparable Miriam Margoyles, and Albert was played by none other than Jim Broadbent.

    Margoyles is actually a huge Dickens fan, so really suited the whole “Christmas Carol” theme.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Broadbent is in this, too, as King William.

  • Jeanne says:

    I saw this for the costume porn and was not disappointed.

    And there’s another Blackadder connection: Miranda Richardson, who played Victoria’s mother, played Queen Elizabeth I in the second season of Blackadder.

  • Jen S says:

    Jeanne, and I believe Miriam Margolyes played Miranda’s nurse in that season too! “If you weren’t quite so big, it’d be time for Mr. and Mrs. Spank to pay a short sharp trip to Botty Land!”

  • Kate Vinée says:

    @Jen S.–My favorite Victoria is Terry Jones in drag, in various Monty Python sketches. He looks uncannily like her (albeit a little tall).

    This thread makes me want to watch Blackadder and the V&A miniseries rather than The Young Victoria. Hmm.

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