The death of King Henry VIII throws his kingdom into chaos because of succession disputes. His weak son Edward, is on his deathbed. Anxious to keep England true to the Reformation, a ... See full summary »
Helena Bonham Carter,
Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?
Dominated by her possessive mother and her bullying consort, Conroy, since childhood, teen-aged Victoria refuses to allow them the power of acting as her regent in the last days of her uncle, William IV's rule. Her German cousin Albert is encouraged to court her for solely political motives but, following her accession at age eighteen, finds he is falling for her and is dismayed at her reliance on trusty Prime Minister Melbourne. Victoria is impressed by Albert's philanthropy which is akin to her own desire to help her subjects. However her loyalty to Melbourne, perceived as a self-seeker, almost causes a constitutional crisis and it is Albert who helps restore her self-confidence. She proposes and they marry, Albert proving himself not only a devoted spouse, prepared to take an assassin's bullet for her, but an agent of much-needed reform, finally endorsed by an admiring Melbourne. Written by
don @ minifie-1
In the opening coronation sequence, the Archbishop of Canterbury anoints Victoria by dipping the first two fingers of his right hand into the chrism (holy oil). Anointings are done with the thumb only. See more »
I'm so sorry! I thought I was going to lose you!
I don't think he was a very good shot.
Why did you do it? So stupid, why did you do it?
I had two very good reasons. First, I am replaceable and you are not.
You are not replaceable to me!
Second, you're the only wife I've got or ever will have. You are my whole existence, and I will love you until my very last breath.
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Stately Though Uninspired Look at a Beloved Queen's Budding Years Ruling the Empire
All the period detail certainly looks right in this 2009 historical drama, but it amazes me how bloodless and staid the story feels under the pedestrian direction of Jean-Marc Vallée. That's unfortunate given how lively Emily Blunt can be in any number of on screen roles she has undertaken ("The Devil Wears Prada", "Sunshine Cleaning"). The key problem is that Julian Fellowes' sensitive albeit dull screenplay focuses on what was obviously a happy marriage between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the consequence of which doesn't give rise to much dramatic fire unless wrapped conveniently in political intrigue, insanity or war. Attempts to add sharper edges to their love story wring hollow because at heart, Victoria is not presented as that compelling a historical figure.
Because of her station in life, the teenaged Victoria is unable to rebel with any conviction. Her scheming, Machiavellian mother, the Duchess of Kent controls her every move, while her adviser John Conroy manipulates the duchess and her daughter with strong-arm tactics with the aim of forcing Victoria have him rule in her stead before she can mature into her role. However, Victoria steadfastly declines his directives in favor of ascending the throne herself upon the death of her beloved uncle, the cantankerous King William IV. Although young and naive, she rises to the challenge of becoming her country's soon-to-be longest-reigning monarch. In the midst of this transition, she falls for her cousin Albert even though he has been aggressively coached by her uncle, King Leopold of Belgium, to ensure a match occurs.
Once Victoria confronts Albert about his ruse, their affection builds and turns into a marriage of mutual devotion with a common dedication to the expansion of arts and science in the empire. The only compelling barrier to Victoria and Albert's happiness is the cagey Lord Melbourne, her trusted, almost-Svengali-like adviser, whose motives remain murky and highly suspect throughout the five-year span of the story told in the movie. Blunt handles her stately role with aplomb, injecting the right level of vulnerability to a character whose ultimate calling came so early in her life. Unfortunately, compared to Cate Blanchett's meaty opportunities in the first "Elizabeth", she is not given any scenes that take advantage of her innate fieriness. By comparison, Rupert Friend comes across a bit too pallid to make any real impression as Albert.
Other worthy actors are given too little to do to strike more than single notes in their performances, for example, Miranda Richardson's petulant turn as the duchess, Mark Strong's Conroy trivialized into a stock villain, and Paul Bettany almost too subtly ambiguous as Melbourne. Only Jim Broadbent stands out in just three scenes as King William. The production details are executed just right from Hagen Bogdanski's clear-eyed cinematography to Patrice Vermette's sumptuous production design to Sandy Powell's pageantry of costumes. The 2010 DVD includes 22 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, a standard making-of featurette, a short comparing the movie' title character with the real Queen Victoria, in-depth looks at the film's coronation and wedding scenes, and a final piece that focuses on the costumes and locations. The film is a tepid entry into the genre of British historical dramas.
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