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The Young Victoria review

The Young Victoria
PGcertificate PG
Running time: 100 minutes
Starring: Rupert Friend, Emily Blunt, Miranda Richardson, Paul Bettany, Jim Broadbent, Mark Strong
Rating 6 out of 10
It's good to see that a period drama can be a success without the seemingly obligatory 'sexing up' of historical relations (made famous by screenwriter Andrew Davies, who salaciously re-vamped the likes of Brideshead Revisited, Sense and Sensibility and Bleak House et al).

Instead this is a charming, meandering film that rarely strays off the path of royal historical accuracy (and with the Duchess of York as co-producer it's no wonder).

Screenwriter Julian Fellows has penned this story of the titular Queen in her formative years; surviving her dictatorial mother (who plotted to block Victoria's path to the throne so that she and lover Sir John Conroy, could become regents), weathering an initial storm of unpopularity early into her rule - including an assassination attempt - and of course her legendary courtship with Prince Albert.

Emily Blunt does a grand job conveying the cracks of vulnerability in the Queen’s wobbly assent from subjugated child to dynamic monarch (the actress herself remarked that, pre-coronation, Victoria herself was so stifled and dominated it was as if she 'lived in a well').

Rupert Friend also does a fair job as the dour, dreamy Prince Albert captivated by the young Queen's spirit and vivacity. All in all, it's a rather romantic affair considering it was an arranged marriage, based on political expediency.

The film is elegantly directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who manages to keep you captivated through what is, by no means an thrilling story, albeit a true one. There's no surplus of melodramtic bodice-ripping in this costume drama - and it's all the better for it.

Kate Coffey

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