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Movie Review of The Young Victoria, Starring Emily Blunt

The Young Victoria: A Lush, Royal Romance

When it comes to period films that involve corsets and longing romantic looks, Keira Knightley is usually, er, queen. But in The Young Victoria she gets some stiff competition from Emily Blunt as a teenage version of the 19th century royal.

Blunt is already up for a Golden Globe for her performance in the film, and it's easy to see why. As an 18-year-old woman learning the ways of government and love, Victoria isn't the stuffy version of the queen that you associate with history books. She's sharp, silly, bullheaded, and vulnerable at the same time — all of which Blunt captures adeptly. But Blunt's performance isn't the only element that shines in this film, which, it should be noted, counts Martin Scorsese and Sarah Ferguson as producers. For more of my thoughts,


The film opens by flashing from Victoria's coronation to a year before her reign, as she prepares to take over the throne from her uncle, King William III. She's constantly smothered by her mother (case in point: Victoria is not even allowed to walk down the stairs without an adult holding her hand). Her mother knows that Victoria is her meal ticket, so she fears that if she loosens her leash, she'll lose her fortune.


But in a bumbling, shy Prince Albert (Rupert Friend), Victoria finds a fellow imprisoned soul. As the nephew of King Leopold of Belgium, he's coached by his uncle to woo Victoria so that he may benefit Belgium as her husband. Albert meets Victoria almost out of duty, but he falls in love with her on his own.

Though the film begins with Victoria as she adapts to her role as monarch, the story of her reign takes a backseat once Albert arrives on the scene. The political drama just can't compete with their courtship, and ultimately it's what the film is about.

Friend and Blunt have a slow-burning chemistry that feels palpable — a testament to both their skills. Despite wealth and royal titles, their romance feels just as real and relatable as any in modern day, and they're undoubtedly one of my favorite onscreen couples this year. Without Friend or Blunt, Victoria could have been written off as just another snoozy piece of historical fiction, but thanks to their star turns, it's easy to get swept up.

Join The Conversation
gingirl gingirl 7 years
I'm looking forward to this movie. I think Emily Blunt is a great actress, and I just love historical pieces. Now I feel the need to go to the library to brush up on this royal pair before the movie, lol.
Sarana Sarana 7 years
I thought this would be good so I picked the DVD up months ago but didn't like it very much. I topped watching half way through.
syako syako 7 years
I meant to say Victoria and Albert, not Leopold. :headsmack:
zeze zeze 7 years
I'm actually disappointed it doesn't have Keira Knightly, and the leading man is her boyfriend. I don't really care for either Rupert Friend or Emily Blunt, but I love period dramas, and knowing that it's actually good, I think I will give it a try.
oohsexypenguin oohsexypenguin 7 years
I want to see this! I love Emily Blunt, I'm glad to see her getting more leading roles.
Entertainment Entertainment 7 years
Hey Madchen, you're totally right, my slip up. Thanks for catching it.
tellmemorex2 tellmemorex2 7 years
I want to see this..I love Emily Blunt.
Mädchen Mädchen 7 years
"Prince Albert of Belgium" I'm confused.. Does the film actually state this? Albert's and Victoria's uncle was King of the Belgians, but Albert himself was German, his title was Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. If I remember correctly, his being German was one of the reasons Albert wasn't popular with the British public initially. Anyway, I'd really like to see this. :)
syako syako 7 years
Ok I was totally confused. I watched this movie in June on a flight on Virgin Atlantic. I was wondering why you were just now reviewing it... now I see it was released in the UK earlier than here. Anyway, I liked the movie and thought Emily Blunt was very good in it. I also felt like the relationship between Victoria and Leopold was one of the best things about the movie.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I might see this just because it'll be refreshing to see a period drama without Keira Knightley. I'm getting way sick of her. I love Emily Blunt anyway though.
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