The Young Victoria

The Young Victoria

Jean-Marc Vallée (2008)

100min
PG Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Britain's second longest-reigning monarch (after our current queen, of course) gets a vivacious new screen image in this handsome biographical drama. Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) mixes charm with steely determination as the teenage princess, chafing at the restrictions of life in Kensington Palace in the year leading up to her accession to the throne. The script by Julian Fellowes is at its best focusing on the conflicts between Victoria, her mother the Duchess of Kent (Miranda Richardson) and the overbearing Sir John Conroy (Mark Strong). But when she becomes queen in 1837, it's the young monarch's courtship of Prince Albert (Rupert Friend) and her dependence on wily Prime Minister Lord Melbourne (Paul Bettany) that take centre stage. Sumptuous royal palaces and gorgeous costumes dominate every scene, and Jim Broadbent has a memorable cameo as the irascible King William. But in choosing to concentrate on the romance in Victoria's life - largely conducted through letters - director Jean-Marc Vallée's treatment of the coronation, the Royal Wedding and a couple of assassination attempts feels rather perfunctory. Unlike the turbulent early years of Cate Blanchett's Elizabeth I, or Judi Dench's raw grief as the widowed Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown, this feels like a case of too much costume and not enough drama.

Summary

The turbulent early years of the monarch who, shortly after being crowned, became caught in a power struggle between her mother and scheming politicians Lord Melbourne and Sir Robert Peel. Meanwhile, a romance develops with her German cousin and eventual husband, Prince Albert. Historical drama, with Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany and Miranda Richardson.

Cast & Crew

Queen Victoria Emily Blunt
Prince Albert Rupert Friend
Lord Melbourne Paul Bettany
Duchess of Kent Miranda Richardson
King William lV Jim Broadbent
King Leopold Thomas Kretschmann
Sir John Conroy Mark Strong
Queen Adelaide Harriet Walter
Baron Stockmar Jesper Christensen
Duchess of Sutherland Rachael Stirling
Sir Robert Peel Michael Maloney
Duke of Wellington Julian Glover
Director Jean-Marc Vallée
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Momentum PicturesAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 6 Mar 2009
Drama