THE YOUNG VICTORIA
The Love of a Lifetime
Release Date: December 18, 2009
Starring: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend,
Paul Bettany, Miranda
Richardson, Mark Strong, Jim
Broadbent, Jeanette Hain, and
Genre: Historical Drama
Audience: Older children to adults
Runtime: 100 minutes
Director: Jean-Mark Vallée
Executive Producer: Colin Vaines
Producer: Graham King, Martin Scorsese,
Tim Headington, and Sarah
Writer: Julian Fellowes
Address Comments To:Bob Berney and Bill Pohlad
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The movie begins with a shot of Queen Victoria’s coronation at Westminster Abbey on June 28, 1838. It then jumps back in time to two years before, with her uncle, William IV, still on the throne. Victoria is next in line to the throne, but her mother, and her mother’s power hungry advisor and supposed lover, have kept her sheltered from politics and court intrigue, so they can control her when she becomes Queen.
Into this situation steps the dashing Prince Albert, from two duchies in Germany, who comes for a visit to England. Albert’s own uncle, King Leopold of Belgium, envisions a marriage between Albert and the future Queen. Happily, Albert and Victoria are immediately attracted to one another, and begin a correspondence when Albert returns to Germany.
When Victoria becomes Queen, however, she names England’s handsome Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne (“Mel-born”), her political advisor. Melbourne advises her well until he loses an election, and Victoria reacts coldly to the new Prime Minister. Her reaction insults the new Prime Minister, who resigns. This raises the people against her, but Albert’s letters show her how much she needs his sage advice to get out of this jam.
Victoria invites Albert to her side and invites him to marry her. All seems well for a while, but Victoria begins to resent Albert’s interest in the day’s politics. She wants to run things by herself! Only Albert’s sacrificial love for Victoria can overcome her resentment.
THE YOUNG VICTORIA is part political intrigue and part romantic drama. The character motivations regarding the political intrigue are sometimes hard to follow, so viewers have to pay careful attention to what’s occurring in the plot. The romantic drama between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert is easier to follow, partly because the growing affection between them shows clearly in the appealing performances of Emily Blunt as Victoria and Rupert Friend as Albert. Thus, by the end of the movie, you will be rooting for this young couple as they iron out their differences and figure out a way to rise above the political intrigue that threatens to tear them and the country apart.
If the political intrigue in the movie were handled a little better, THE YOUNG VICTORIA would be a truly great movie. Also, the movie downplays the Christian worldview that underpinned England at that time. Thus, the movie’s Christian worldview is light and implied rather than really strong and overt.
There are some bedroom scenes between Victoria and Albert after they get married, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for pre-teenagers. The scenes are light or implied, however, so this is a movie that contains a strong biblical, moral view of marriage. By all accounts, the movie’s depiction of the strong love between Queen Victoria and her husband deserves to be called one of the greatest love stories in history. After Prince Albert’s death, Victoria appeared publicly only in mourning and even laid out his clothes daily in loving memory for the rest of her days.
THE YOUNG VICTORIA is part political intrigue and part romantic drama. The character motivations regarding the political intrigue are necessarily complex, so please pay close attention. The romantic drama between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert is easier to follow and makes the movie compelling and inspiring. There are some very mild bedroom scenes between the married couple, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for pre-teenagers.