The Young Victoria
Winter 2010 Features series
Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 4:00pm
Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 7:00pm
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée
Screenplay by Julian Fellowes
Starring Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson, Jim Broadbent, Mark Strong
Rated NR ·
Acclaimed director Jean-Marc Vallée (whose last film, C.R.A.Z.Y, was one of the most successful Canadian films of the past decade) returns with The Young Victoria, a delicate and profoundly romantic look at England’s last golden age.
The Young Victoria stars the charismatic Emily Blunt (The Jane Austen Book Club, Sunshine Cleaning) as Victoria and follows her struggle to succeed as the ruler of England, a quest blocked by her mother, the Duchess of Kent (Miranda Richardson, Wah-Wah, Paris, je t’aime), and her odious “adviser,” Sir John Conroy (Mark Strong, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day).
Widowed at a young age, the duchess has been convinced by Conroy that she must at all costs keep Victoria away from the court in order to preserve her own position – despite the complaints of King William IV (Jim Broadbent, Vera Drake), Victoria’s uncle, who clearly wants his niece to succeed him. When Victoria is finally crowned, she’s utterly unaware of the potential ramifications of her actions and allows herself to be misled by the dashing Lord Melbourne (Paul Bettany, A Beautiful Mind, _Creation), who may be using her youth and inexperience to further enhance his own position. Enter Prince Albert (Rupert Friend, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas), who almost immediately charms Victoria by refusing to stick to the script given him by his scheming and Machiavellian relations. As love grows between the two, crucial questions remain unanswered: will Victoria listen to Albert’s counsel or will her loyalty to Melbourne win out?
The Young Victoria gives us an in-depth portrait of the often ruthless machinations that characterized the dealings between royal families: patriotism and family loyalties were labyrinthine in their complications, and battles for leverage and position even poisoned mother-daughter relationships. But Vallée’s film is also a truly felt romance; from the very first meeting, we sense a mutual bond between Albert and Victoria, despite the restrictions placed on their interactions. Beautifully directed and exquisitely acted, The Young Victoria is a memorable, sophisticated and very charming exploration of English history.