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.

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