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This is a phenomenal movie, but I am rather peeved at the way it has been
marketed. When I rented the movie, the blurb on the box luridly touted the
"forbidden passion between a rugged Scotsman and the most powerful woman in
the world." Other marketing of the film is similar. That's not what the
movie is about at all!! It is a very sad commentary on our society if a
moving drama about terrible grief being assuaged through loyal friendship
cannot be accepted for what it is. Is the American public really that
shallow? I don't know whether to blame movie execs for dumbing down the
presentation of their product to titillate the lowest common denominator, or
the American public for maybe actually being that way.
Diatribes aside, Dench and Connolly are phenomenal. Victoria and Brown are complex characters with conflicting emotions, and one almost feels able to look upon their souls in this portrayal. Antony Sher was delightful as the orator/politician Benjamin Disraeli, at the same time both wise and gently pompous. The makeup job was so good that I actually recognized him as Disraeli before his name was mentioned.
If you are disappointed because this is not a puerile romance, shame on you. These are real people with real emotions. This moving story of grief and friendship is definitely one of the best of the year.
This film is a fantastic love story. You'll note that I didn't say "sex
story," because there is absolutely no sex in this film. And yet most
people equate "love story" with sex, or at least a beautifully shot kiss
the end, complete with a cheesy song penned by Brian Adams. This, my
friends, is a love story with a difference.
It is the story of a servant's love for his queen; it is the story of a woman's love for the man who has given her life meaning; it is a story of two best friends, who ignore social circumstances and care deeply for one another. The story is nearly flawless, combining the historical situation and circumstances with intense and riveting emotion.
The acting is outstanding. Both of the central actors convey exactly what their character is feeling, even if no words are spoken. Billy Connolly lets John Brown's humanity shine through his rough exterior, and he has a naturalness that is quite inspired. And Dame Judi Dench gives a masterful performance, worthy of the Oscar (like that's never been said before). Her portrayal of a queen tortured by her feelings and her position in society is the best of the year by any actor, male or female.
Hands down the best British film of the year. 9/10.
Undoubtedly this film appeals to so very many because of the fine acting, the tenderness of a story about how a man comforts a great human being in her grief, the wit, and the careful re-creation of a period of history. For me personally, however, there was another appealing element - the highlighting of the differences between English and Scottish culture. This seems so often to be brought out very wittily by Sher's Disraeli - in his references to his suffering because of the weather and Scottish food, to this land of Calvin and Knox, and in his barbed comments to English churchmen that Her Majesty is actually becoming interested in Low Church Presbyterianism. It is because I can identify with such traits of character and belief from an Ulster Scot ancestry and because I often see others' failure to understand or appreciate those traits that the film has a degree of personal resonance.
Absolutely brilliant film. No question, we all seem to agree that Dench deserved the Oscar (ok, Hunt was cute in AGAIG but a long way from 'Best'), Connolly is surprisingly good in this very dramatic role (I'm not exactly a huge fan of his comedic work), and Sher was very clever as Disraeli. All in all, a sterling performance by a wonderful cast. But this movie is just a little bit more that just great acting, it is also a moving story of the burdens of office, the mores of Victorian society, the anguish of the death of a loved one, and the blessing of true friendship. This is a very good movie. Don't expect sex, violence or swearing, but if you're looking for a quality film, this could be for you. 8/10
This movie is a treasure. Judi Dench deserved an Oscar for her work. If I ever see her on the street, I will apologize for the stupidity of the Academy. Billy Connolly was terrific also and deserved his own nomination. This movie is magnificent; one of the best I've seen in a long time. Even if you think this kind of thing is too Masterpiece Theatre, I think you would enjoy this.
MRS. BROWN as written by Jeremy Brock and directed by John Madden
(Proof, Shakespeare in Love, Captain Corelli's Mandolin) is a
sprightly, entertaining and engrossing study of a moment in the life of
enigmatic Queen Victoria. Selecting an outstanding production crew and
a fine cast this film succeeds on every level and once again proves to
us that Judi Dench is one of the finest actresses on the stage or
The story revolves around the time when Queen Victoria's beloved husband Prince Albert dies resulting in a clinical depression in the queen. She leaves London with her entourage to grieve at Balmoral Castle. There her Scottish Highlander servant John Brown (Billy Connolly) nurses her back to normalcy but in the meanwhile sets up the appearance of an affair that scandalized the British Isles. Disraeli (Antony Sher) visits in an attempt to right the situation but it is Brown's strong personality - an equal match for the wise and wily Victoria - that alters the course of events that returns Queen Victoria to her proper station.
Dench and Connolly play so well off each other that their relationship has a wealth of charm, tenderness, bite, wit, and solidity. The supporting cast includes a fine turn by Gerard Butler as Archie Brown, John's supportive and playful brother. The costumes are superb and the cinematography by Richard Greatrex captures the atmosphere of the cloying indoor spaces as well as the freedom of the vast coastline vistas. Stephen Warbeck is responsible for the well-integrated musical score. Highly recommended. Grady Harp
Mrs Brown is a good movie with a good storyline ,excellent performances by Bill Conolly ,Judi Dench and Antony Sher. Antony Sher(Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli)adds some humor to the the movie .It was a delight visiting the beautiful Scottish Highlands thanks to some marvelous photography and a very good recreation of the Victorian age. The real show stealer I felt was Bill Conolly(John Brown).He is portrayed as a loyal,charismatic,fun loving Scottish highlander who can dare to defy the Queen's orders .The scenes involving Victoria and Brown are electrifying.It surprises me that a talented actor like Bill Connoly Does not get many good roles.I would definitely love to see more of this talented actor.
"Mrs. Brown" tells the story of the grieving widow Queen Victoria (Dench) and her relationship with a common Scottish horse groomsman (Connolly) whose audacity and devotion won him a position as the queen's closest consort and her everlasting affection. A wonderfully executed period piece (circa 1860's), "Mrs. Brown" leans toward fact and avoids sensationalism as it tenders its biographically correct drama about a grieving queen who finds an unspoken love and renewed commitment to life in a most unlikely man. Anyone into British period flicks should enjoy this film's sterling performances, excellent costuming, beautiful locations, etc. (B+)
Mrs Brown is an enthralling piece of work wonderfully crafted by Judy Dench and Billy Connolly. The story is about queen Victoria and the relationship with Mr Brown after the death of her husband. Connolly is superb and maybe should think about sticking to straight acting more often instead of comedy. Although the film tends to tail of a little in the last half hour it is still worth seeing. 7 out of 10
This is not, as one might think, a romantic film about a queen who falls in
love with a subject -- although that's technically its story, and although
it seems to aspire to the category of romantic, bittersweet drama. For that
it's too harsh and cold, and my experience is that women in particular will
be disappointed that at no point in the film will the central characters
"succumb to their yearnings". True, this is an epic, sweeping, costume
drama, but it's one that stays so true in its wish to portray history and
reality correctly, that the grand love scenes are ruled out by its
Beyond that (it's by no means a criticism), Mrs. Brown is a touching, very entertaining, extremely well acted drama. Unlike many other films set in this era, the sets aren't overdone, and the people are portrayed (as I imagine it) realistically. Despite its focus on realism, it comes off as an extremely emotional (much thanks to Billy Connolly's performance) story about personal and political conflicts.
Finally, I believe the political angle of the film will confuse some people who won't understand the issues at stake (this is how my girlfriend reacted -- she couldn't follow much of the narrative in the last hour or so); but those who do will be thrilled.
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