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>The Young Victoria
Director: Jean-Marc Vallee
Cast: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Miranda Richardson, Paul Bettany, Jim Broadbent, Mark Strong, Harriet Walter, Jeanette Hain
5 stars (out of 5)
Review by Christine Powley
Queen Victoria, the longest-reigning British monarch, casts a long shadow, but when we think of her we conjure up the dumpy widow forever not amused.
Victoria became queen at 18 and like any teenager with their first taste of freedom, she got into some silly scrapes through inexperience coupled with bull-headedness.
The Young Victoria (Rialto) takes us back to that green young queen and she turns out to be interestingly likeable.
Emily Blunt as Victoria is credible.
Although she has to carry the movie, in some ways she has the easy role because the passionate Victoria was something of an open book by royal standards.
The great revelation of The Young Victoria is that it makes the enigmatic Prince Albert (Rupert Friend) come sharply into focus.
Friend has made a specialty of likeable cads and while Albert was no cad, he had been trained from an early age to appeal to the future queen of England.
He so easily could have turned into Kevin Federline - instead he was a paragon of princely virtues with a very sexy marriage.
Friend gets us to believe that Albert did love Victoria and gives the prince enough spark for us to understand why she fell for him.
The Young Victoria makes a very nice bookend for Mrs Brown, the Judi Dench film about the mature Victoria.
Best thing: Victoria was always raving in her diary about how hunky Albert was. The costume designer here has pushed the boat out with an eye-popping array of tight trousers letting you see that she had a point.
Worst thing: Like all historical dramas they cannot help over-egging the pudding. Albert never took a bullet for Victoria - why pretend that he did?
See it with: Some female chums and be prepared to swoon.