Checkmate: “Young Victoria”

Okay, so I really need to do these discussions right after I watch the movie, not just when I have time, especially in this case. I watched “Young Victoria” and then silly me, decided to watch another period film right after it and now both have kinda mushed together in my mind… great.

Anyway let’s see what I remembered and liked about “Young Victoria”…

Here’s a fact about me. I like period pieces when I’m interested in the famous person a.k.a the Romanovs. I can handle the English Monarchy movies, but only when I’m fully awake. It took me a couple minutes to figure out who was who in this movie and what was going on even though the movie provided slate cards and subtitles stating what was going on during a certain time, so I guess, thank you slate cards.

After finally grasping what was going on which was pretty much summed up during the chess match between Victoria played by Emily Blunt and Albert played by Rupert Friend, I began to enjoy the romantic notions of this movie. First though the chess match. The chess match described perfectly what was happening in the movie. She was trying to out maneuver the others in the game who were trying to control her like a pawn.

It was good to see I was starting to realize a pattern what was happening in the films I was watching. The female leads whether it be Victoria or Coco from “Coco Before Chanel” didn’t want marriage or someone else to control their life. They wanted to be their own person, own ruler of their life. They didn’t want someone signing away their life to follow someone else’s rules. So it was interesting to see that Victoria was stubborn and very arrogant for a reason. Being stubborn and thinking she was the best, kept her in control and not signing her life away to a regency form.

Okay now onto the romance bit… The romance with Prince Albert probably was the one thing that held my attention in the movie especially when they were exchanging letters. Exchanging letters in today’s society that’s full of emails and blackberries seems like a lost art so when it emerged as the primary form of communication for them, I thought it was quite sweet. They could pour so much emotion on to one sheet of letter while in our time, some of us can only muster an LOL.

It was very funny when Albert asked his servant, “will there ever be a chance to read the letter before someone else reads it?”

I enjoyed their first encounter when Albert had memorized Victoria’s likes and dislikes and she was one step ahead of him. She knew what he was doing and was totally bored and annoyed by it. However, Albert totally changed the conversation around when he told her the truth about his favorite and her least favorite composer, Schubert and then she liked him.

When Albert slid across the hallway, Albert’s brother punched him on the shoulder and Victoria skipped on the stairs, I was reminded that the people of the later 1800’s are similar to the people of today when they laugh and joke, atlhough it is in a more prim and proper fashion.

Fun fact: Did not know that Paul Bettany was Lord Melbourne. Did however, know that Jim Broadbant a.k.a Harold Ziggler from “Moulin Rouge” a.k.a Prof. Slughorn from “Harry Potter 6” was King William.

Oscar Nominations:

1. Best Achievement in Art Direction: Patrice Vermette and Maggie Gray

2. Best Costume Design: Sandy Powell

3. Best Makeup: John Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore


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