Friday, April 13, 2012

The Young Victoria (2009)

 “Do you ever feel like a chess piece yourself? In a game being played against your will”

            Did I ever happen to mention that I am an anglophile? I love the British!! No laughing, but I have loved all things British since the Spice Girls. NO LAUGHING I SAID!!!! I am OBSESSED with British pop music. I was a fan of singers and bands like Natasha Bedingfield, Lily Allen, The Wanted, One Direction, Cheryl Cole all before they came out here in the states. I still listen to Steps and Five like they are going out of style haha (if you do not know who these two groups are from Disney Channel in Concert then you were a sheltered kid in the nineties). I got the chance two years ago to study abroad in London for a month over the summer and it was the most incredible experience of my life. I loved it beyond measure and miss the country terribly. I stayed in a suburb of London called Surbiton and attended Kingston University in the next town over.
            I had the greatest time going to so many of London’s museums and learning about the city’s amazing history. One of the most interesting people I learned about was Queen Victoria.  Having reigned for sixty-four years the longest of any British monarch Victoria’s legacy can be seen all over London most famously a collection of buildings called “Albertopolis” (this include the Victoria and Albert Museum which is one of the greatest museums I have ever been to).  My interest in Queen Victoria lead to find a movie called The Young Victoria starring Emily Blunt as the queen.
            Ever since her father had died when she was young Victoria lived with her mother the Duchess of Kent and her mother’s consort Sir John Conroy. Her uncle King William IV has been ruler of England for several years. Her mother and Conroy have been trying to gain control of England as regency but Victoria refuses to sign the necessary papers for them to do so. When her uncle dies Victoria takes the throne at the age of eighteen.
            The Duchess is a relative of King Leopold of Austria from the Coburg family. Leopold sends his nephew Albert to fall in love with Victoria so that Austria and England will be in alliance. The more Albert and Victoria see each other the deeper in love they fall. Victoria is a sort of free spirit with the interest of her people in mind and Albert is quiet but very intelligent. She asks Albert to marry her and be the prince to her queen. Albert helps Victoria to end her political relationship with Lord Melbourne (Paul Bettany) who has lead her to a bit of political scandal. He also helps to get rid of people Melbourne recommended to help with her home and Sir Conroy who was still scheming of a way to gain great power.
            Victoria and Albert were married for twenty-eight years until his death and had nine children.
            If you want a detailed description of the film all you have to do is look up the real Queen Victoria.
            The casting was absolutely perfect. Emily Blunt is a wonderful actress she was great as Victoria. Blunt is one of the few modern actresses that I will see any movie they are in. Paul Bettany played Lord Melbourne. He was good as a sort of manipulative man who wanted to work his way to the top. Jim Broadbent as King William was a highlight in the movie. He is how I think the kings of England looked like.
            The Young Victoria is an all around great movie. The costumes and sets were beautiful making it seem as if you have been transported back to that time period. The young royals were like chess pieces in a large international game but in the end they were not played and became their own persons. As I said Victoria’s legacy is all over London. Her statue is on a fountain in front of Buckingham Palace. Her monuments and buildings to Albert are beautiful. Her name was given to the period in which she ruled and describes an era where industry became powerful and the family was the center of life. If you have an interest in some of British history or would like to begin to learn about this fascinating woman watch The Young Victoria


 Queen Victoria's statue on the fountain in front of Buckingham Palace  (photo taken and owned by me)
A statue of Queen Victoria down Fleet Street (photo taken and owned by me)