At last! LOL! I bought I copy from the UK - it hasn't yet been released on DVD here.
A few pictures for you to drool over. Yes, the costumes really are to die for!!
Some of my first impressions:
I liked, but I didn't love it. I'm not exactly sure why, but I think it may have something to do with the portrayal of Victoria herself. Perhaps in an effort to overturn the stereotype of Queen Victoria as being a small, mousy little woman, here she is portrayed as confident, headstrong, and vivacious.
Which is great, but. . . I couldn't really warm to her at first. I suppose it's natural to prefer heroines with whom one can truly identify! And I sometimes had trouble identifying with Emily Blunt's Victoria. The "Young Victoria" here is confident and, at times hot-tempered. Yes, she is clever and delightful but. . . I thought she seemed a bit spoilt at times! Which is forgiveable, I suppose, in a princess/queen. :-/
Rupert Friend (Mr. Wickham from P&P05. . .) was very good as Prince Albert. The production values are impeccable. . . the film is a dazzling feast for the eyes, as I knew it would be. Hmm. . . the cast were all good. The script was okay.
One of the things I found fascinating about the film was the picture it gave of growing up as a member of the Royal Family, and the quirks and challenges of being groomed as the next monarch! Some aspects of being part of a royal family may have changed, but I imagine others are still the same - to some extent. Going slightly off-topic. . . did you know that Sarah Fergusen co-produced The Young Victoria? And that her daughter, Princess Beatrice of York, makes a cameo in the film, during the coronation scene? I thought that was so neat, having a real-life descendant of Queen Victoria in that scene. :-)
I also appreciated the historical background of the film - whilst it was first and foremost a romance, there was still plenty of political intrigue and info about the various characters and events surrounding Victoria's early life. I don't know how much of it was historically accurate. Guess I'll have to get my hands on a good biography or two! Aargh! Another bunch of books to add to my overwhelmingly long to-read list. . .
So - overall, I liked it, and highly recommend it for any romantic - or any costume drama fan (usually there's not much difference. :P). Like I said above - it's not one of my all-time favourites, but I did enjoy it. No doubt it will continue to grow on me after a couple of re-watches.
4 out of 5 stars. . .