Young Victoria, The
Entertainment: +4
Acceptability: +3

Emily Blunt. Written by Julian Fellowes. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) delivers an incredibly appealing performance as Queen Victoria in the turbulent first years of her reign.  Rupert Friend (Pride & Prejudice) portrays Prince Albert, the suitor who wins her heart and becomes her partner in one of history's greatest romances.  This love story, set amongst all the intrigue of the court, also features Paul Bettany (Iron Man, The Da Vinci Code), Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Jim Broadbent (The Damned United, The Chronicles of Narnia), Thomas Kretschmann (Valkyrie), and Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes, Tristan & Isolde).

PREVIEW REVIEW: The next time someone says something negative about the Royal family, remember that the English monarchy has at least served us filmgoers for decades by providing watchable entertainment. Countless involving films have been made about the Henrys and Elizabeths. These pictures are always austere and grand, replete with intriguing history and chivalrous melodrama. For those of us who like movies where story and dialogue are the special effects and enjoy narratives without lewd and crude behavior, the English royalty has usually fit the bill. The Young Victoria is no exception. It is mesmerizing.

At first, I had trouble accepting Emily Blunt in a costume drama, as she was memorable as Miranda Priestly’s slave/assistant in the decidedly more modern The Devil Wears Prada, but she soon won me over. Aided by a solid script and pros before and behind the camera, from cinematography to costume design to fellow performers, Ms. Blunt managed to hit all the right notes as the young queen challenged with inexperience amid a court-full of power-seekers.

Filled with historical shenanigans and eye-pleasing moviemaking, the film has yet another component worth noting during our era of social frustration and concern. I think right now, we’d all love it if our economy and health care would be revitalized, and a restoration of the American Dream might come to pass. Well, at least at the movies, we’d like to see things work out. In this film, everything does. The good guys best the bad guys and we learn that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert later did much to better their subjects’ life conditions, not to mention the preservation of the arts. And there is a very fine scene where the royal couple realizes their love for one another. It’s a moving moment that brought out tissues even among critics.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Apparition

Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: The queen’s life is threatened twice by assassins; a man is wounded by an attempted assassination. Blood: Blood on a shirt from a gunshot wound.
Sexual Intercourse: Honeymooners cavorting, but the scenes are handled with discretion and reflect the beauty of a married couple delighting in one another.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Some drinking by members of the court.
Other: None
Running Time: 104 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Adults

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