Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's like a tonic; the kind without the gin

Yesterday, I was feeling rather disappointed and disheartened by the results of the senate election here in Massachusetts. (In case you haven't picked up on this, I am a true blue Democrat so Scott Brown's victory was a defeat of the worst kind.) Fortunately, JR and I had plans to go see Young Victoria at Kendall Square Cinema. (We were supposed to go another day, but had to reschedule.) It was funny how short a time it took, immersed in the world of 19th century English monarchy, for me to feel infinitely better. The costumes, the sets, the story was so removed from post-election blues 21st century New England winter.

I liked the film. It is a beautiful period piece. Unlike the film Elizabeth, this film is less about becoming a queen at a young age and more about the courtship between Victoria and Albert. It isn't particularly complicated, and, with a running time of less than two hours, it doesn't really delve too deeply into the politics of the time. Unfortunately, because of that, I think that it doesn't give the most accurate impression of either the people or events that it portrayed. JR and I had a mini history review while we were waiting in line for me to pay for my parking. If you want to watch a more historically accurate film about the young Queen Victoria, I would recommend the mini-series "Victoria and Albert" with Victoria Hamilton and Jonathan Firth in the leads. The historical inaccuracies didn't stop the film from being delightful, especially any time Emily Blunt showed up in a new frock. (Plus, I spied the cameo appearances by Princess Beatrice as one of Queen Victoria's [her real life great, great, great grandmother] ladies.)

For me, the best part of the film was Rupert Friend as Prince Albert. The more I see of him as an actor, the more I appreciate that there is real substance there, and he has the ability to handle both period and contemporary roles, which isn't easy (I am thinking of you, Winona Ryder.) From the reading I have done, Prince Albert seemed to be a very thoughtful and capable person with a lot of common sense, discipline, and good manners, and Rupert Friend conveyed all of that.

When I got home, I wanted to stick in that lovely period drama world, but knew that I needed a little bit of a reality dose, so I watched about a half hour of "Lost in Austen" before going to bed where I fell asleep promptly and had no troubling dreams and woke up on time. Clearly, a dose of British costume drama was just what I needed to beat back the wintertime blues.


  1. Is Rupert Friend the guy who is dating Keira Knightley? Or at least, I think they did used to date, at one time. I still need to see this movie!

  2. Yes, he is KK's bf. He was also Mr. Wickham in Pride and Prejudice (2005) and Ludo in Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont. The last thing I saw him in was the film Cheri with Michelle Pfeiffer; he was good, but the film was just so-so.



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