DRAMA; 1hr 45min
STARRING: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson, Jim Broadbent
Till death do us part: Blunt and Friend
A cage is a cage, no matter how grand. And for Princess Victoria of Kent (Blunt), trapped in the politics of lineage, destiny seems preordained. Victoria is wilful and intelligent but not everyone — her chilly mother (Richardson) included — embraces the idea of her taking the throne. Yet take it she does in 1838 at age 18 after the death of her obstreperous uncle King William IV (Broadbent).
Director Jean-Marc Vallée’s The Young Victoria hums with lavish subterfuge as the brand-new Queen grows wings and ruffles feathers, guided all the while by silver-tongued Prime Minister Lord Melbourne (Bettany). Meanwhile, a frustrated Prince Albert (Friend), who would become Victoria’s husband and the sole love of her life, must cool his heels at the German court while Her Majesty dallies, craving elusive independence.
It’s easy to forget how girlish Victoria once was. Blunt lights her spark with a savvy smile that hints at playful undertones while Friend is a storybook Prince Charming in unfortunate stovepipe pants. The freshness of their love affair blows dust and cobwebs away.