The Young Victoria
Emily Blunt absolutely sparkles in this period drama, a film that manages to be a good, though embellished, piece of history and strikingly romantic at the same time. Blunt plays Queen Victoria from shortly before her coronation to shortly after her marriage to Prince Albert of Germany, played by Rupert Friend, who is basically Orlando Bloom with acting chops. Blunt brings a real honesty to her portrayal of a queen who experienced a lot of pressure during her first reigning years due to her sex and age. Blunt is 26, but she plays a teenager convincingly. The love story at the film’s core involves Prince Albert’s awkward courtship of Victoria. Because she is a queen in the making, Albert can’t, by law, take the first steps in their relationship. Director Jean-Marc Vallée and writer Julian Fellowes do a nice job of making something that could seem arranged and forced have a real romantic charm. By the time the two wind up in each other’s arms, it’s a tremendously sweet moment.