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on 12 July 2009
Well, I came to this one rather dreading it. National critics had given it something of a bashing. But it is super!

Young Victoria was the only surviving issue of several sons of George III ("Farmer George"). Two of her uncles, George IV (who made Brighton Pavilion) and his brother William IV (known as the "Sailor King" and "Silly Billy") had preceded her as monarch. Unfortunately for Victoria, her father, the Duke of Kent, died very early and her mother, the Duchess, fell under the spell of - not to put too fine a point on it - a conman in the shape of (later knighted as "Sir") John Conroy. Sensing the prospect of power, the two of them raised poor Victoria in a repressive background at Kensington Palace, dubbing their tyrannical regime "The Kensington System."

This is where the film starts. I loved it. Victoria is played with emotional literacy and verve by Emily Blunt. Miranda Richardson is restrained and blinkered as the Duchess and Mark Strong makes a villainous Conroy, slapping Victoria as she refuses to sign a document making him Regent.

Several of the other actors are so good that their identity in the cast list came as a PLEASANT SURPRISE (hence the title of this review). Jim Broadbent is great as crusty old William IV, asking God to let him hang on until May, when Victoria comes of age. (Thankfully, she did - and banished Conroy from her Court on her accession.) Michael Maloney puts in good work as Sir Robert Peel who Victoria clashes with politically. Paul Bettany is fabulous, if somewhat too young, as Lord Melbourne, Victoria's adviser and crush.

But the honours go to the dashing Rupert Friend, wonderful as Prince Albert. Albert - German and Royal and not popular with Parliament - is utterly rehabilitated in this film. It's a beautiful love story in a historical setting. The romance is made all the more poignant by the knowledge that Albert died after he and Victoria had ruled for 20 years. She mourned him for the rest of her life. On the morning afer their wedding night, he lies motionless in bed, almost a precursor of his death, as she passionately surveys him.

The loveliness of romance is underpinned by solid history and politics. The production values are superb, the research admirable, the storytelling gripping.

So what if it's revisionist in some respects? I won't be pedantic. But if you see it and like it, carry on to Christopher Hibbert's superb Queen Victoria: A Personal History and the somewhat less marvellous Becoming Queen (a bit novelettish for me).

Definitely one to enjoy.
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on 6 March 2009
I saw this film at the cinema, and it wasn't just me saying it was a great film. I overheard everyone leaving the cinema, and everyone was saying that it was fantastic. I wouldn't consider myself a royalist (and didn't know anything about Queen Victoria), however I still thoroughly enjoyed this film of her younger years. The acting was superb, the costumes stunning and the locations superb. You also couldn't beat the fabulous music, in particular the choir rendition of 'Zadok The Priest' which gave me goosebumps.

Don't think for a second that as it is a period film there is a lot of doom and gloom, because it is quite the opposite. This is a beautiful love story, with quite a lot of humour in it. Overall as far as period drama's go, this is one of the best.

One of my favourite scenes was the ball scene where Princess Victoria and Albert have their first dance. It was a heartstopping moment to say the least, and that is when she realises just how much she likes him.

The film shows how lighthearted Victoria was in her younger years with that spring in her step, whilst at the same time pursuing her duty of becoming Queen and knowing her responsibilities. Albert also knows his responsibilities, and is initially thrust upon her, but upon their first meeting is immediately smitten. Albert has plans of how he can help people, in particular the poorer communities. When Queen Victoria's reign is dealt a blow due to her over-reliance and flirtations with Prime Minister Melbourne (and as a result every person in the street is threatening her safety), Prince Albert saves the monarchy and Queen Victoria proposes. They become the perfect partnership, helping each other, and sharing the same vision by helping those less fortunate.

Highly Recommended.
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on 23 March 2010
This film is just beautiful I can't stop watching it! All the actors in this are fantastic but Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend are superb.
As someone that loves their history, especially the Victorians, yes there are parts that aren't 100% historically accurate but you usually find with most films now that they don't stick to actual history as it doesn't sell tickets or DVD's! It covers the "Kensington System" in the film as well as her naivety when it came to Lord Melbourne and of course her relationship with Prince Albert.

As some have suggested it skips from one place to another somewhat but personally it did not affect me, if you watch the deleted scenes you will see some perhaps important scenes that were not included in the final cut(for example Lady Flora Hastings). Also the other dvd extras are very good to watch.

But the main reason I love this film is for the love story which blossoms between Victoria and Albert which is done in such a beautiful way. We see them fall in love with each other, something that wasn't really meant to happen as Albert had been selected as a possible candidate for Victoria since their childhood. The film really does make you realise perhaps why Victoria went into such a deep state of mourning, because they adored each other which is portrayed so well in the film by Emily and Rupert.

The costumes are gorgeous as well as the settings and script writing, and the music in this is stunning and really suits every scene(as someone that is in their very late teens this is quite a statement for me!)This is truely a beautiful film. Maybe not everybodys cup of tea but it certainly is mine!!
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on 24 June 2009
I worked at The Victoria and Albert Museum for two and a half years.After realising Prince Alberts contribution to the V+A and to society as a whole.I learned to love and respect that wonderful man.Studying the books written about Prince Albert in the museum library I realised that for many years after his dealh historians were not kind to him.
The V+A gallery dedicated to Prince Albert's legacy was removed after Queen Victoria's death.The 1997 Museum director even wanted to change the name of the museum!
For many years I have thought when would modern society realise the genius and humanity of Prince Albert.This film had a lot of territory to cover to so, you have to read in between the lines sometimes. But the film undoughtedly shows the deep love and dedication that Prince Albert had for Queen Victoria and the deep ,deep heart that Prince Albert had for all of humanity.
You must see the DVD!!!Buy it and show it to everyone and the world will be a better place.
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As the story opens, we meet 17-year old Princess Victoria (Emily Blunt), the niece and heir-apparent of her uncle, William IV. The girl is controlled in every way by her selfish mother (Miranda Richardson) and greedy advisor, Sir John Conroy, but is still spunky and strong-willed. She meets Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, well-aware that their marriage would be politically advantageous and at 18, becomes Queen.

This movie is first and foremost a visual feast, with sumptuous costumes and elegant sets that make us feel we are truly peeking at royals behind closed doors. The script itself is rather episodic and choppy, with an endless parade of characters that we don't have time to identify or understand, and the political wrangling and power-brokering among her advisors is sometimes tedious. The relationship between Victoria and Albert is handled discreetly and they are shown to be a very happy couple indeed.

Emily Blunt makes a beautiful, passionate, and poised Victoria and Rupert Friend is fine as the reserved young Albert. The DVD extras on wardrobe and Victoria's life are informative and enjoyable. All in all, it's pretty enough to make any girl want to be a queen.
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on 24 April 2010
This is a gorgeous film, beautifully shot with lovely performances. Aside from the historical content, which is in itself interesting of course, it is simply a nice, neat piece of film making.

Emily Blunt leads an impressive cast with a commanding performance as the young monarch but perhaps the most notable performance here is from Rupert Friend as the young Albert. He delivers an understated and compelling performance which is simply beautiful and imbues what could have been a slightly dull character with vulnerability and strength combined. He is the perfect foil to Blunt and the love story between these two is wonderfully moving.

Paul Bettany is delicious as Lord Melbourne, Jim Broadbent's brief turn as King William is great and notably, Harriet Walters as his consort Queen Adelaide is excellent in every scene she's in.

On the whole this is exactly what it says on the tin! A beautifully shot and fitting tribute to the enduringly romantic love story that is Victoria and Albert.
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on 21 August 2009
This was purchased for my wife. She loved it, and has already lent it to our youngest daughter.A tastefully crafted story of a young girl, under great stress who overcomes her prison culture, and meets her hero who helps her to become the Queen we all recognise.
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on 17 March 2010
One of the best films I've seen in a long time. The acting was amazing and the costumes and set absolutely beautiful. We all know Victoria mourned her Albert when he died and never really got over losing him. This showed the Victoria we don't know the passionate girl who had to find respect as Queen when some people thought she was too young for the responsibility. It is a beautiful film and one you can just lose yourself in.
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on 15 December 2009
I bought this DVD because there were so many good reviews. But I have to say I was a little disappointed. It didn't show any of young Victoria's initial attraction to Albert's brother Ernest. And also in the assassination attempt, Albert was shot! This never happened in real life! There was an attempt on the Queen but he missed. They were minor changes though and didn't really spoil the overall film. Two things really spoilt it for me - One was the sound mixing which wasn't very good and the other was that the film seemed very superficial and you never really felt you knew the characters. I just don't think it captured the atmosphere of Victoria and Albert. I knew I had seen better - just bought Victoria and Albert mini series from 2001 and yes it was ten times better !!!!! In it's favour, Young Victoria has beautiful costumes and settings!
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on 24 May 2010
Purists might find fault with some of the facts, but the film gives you a feeling for the time and the difficulties such a young queen would have. We always think of Queen Victoria as she is seen so often - an old lady in black - so it was great to be reminded that she was also a very young queen. The scenery is splendid, and the actors excellent. A lovely romantic story as well.
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