The Young Victoria
You thought England’s Queen Victoria was the poster monarch of dour repression, but you didn’t know her as a teenager. Hey, look: a blooming impertinent freethinker, resisting stifling mores. Oh, the mores! “Even a palace can be a prison,” etc. Not to mention all the grubby political scheming that surrounded her otherwise quite stately and sufficiently bejeweled 1838 coronation. In the title role, Emily Blunt brings spunky wit to the perfectly pleasant period-piece proceedings, evidently enjoying a flirty if protracted courtship with Rupert Friend as her kissing cousin, Prince Albert. They have unsurprisingly fine support from Paul Bettany, Jim Broadbent and Miranda Richardson. And there’s something strangely charming about the fact that nobody—certainly not director Jean-Marc Vallée or screenwriter Julian Fellowes—seems too worried that the whole movie might only amount to a vessel for its costumes.