Thursday, February 18, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW: The Young Victoria

Number of Nominations: 3 (Best Costume Design, Achievement in Art Direction, Achievement in Makeup)
Availability in the US: In Select Theatres (Check Showtimes)

19th Century England was a dangerous place for Victoria, the young heir to King George IV's throne. The Young Victoria tells the true story of the early life of England's longest reigning monarch. As a conniving mother attempts to usurp her birthright, multiple men try to manipulate her to their own ends, and her life is threatened by her detractors, the young Queen manages to always keep her wits about her and maintain her values.

A powerhouse performance by Emily Blunt in the title role helps make The Young Victoria into a thoroughly enjoyable film; it's very disappointing that Blunt is not nominated as Best Actress. The film is extremely well done, and the entire cast make the story compelling. Period pieces tend to be rather slow-paced and The Young Victoria is no exception, but the film is well worth it.

Films with Elizabethan and Victorian-era costume dramas have a long history of winning the costume design awards (the last 3 winners were The Duchess, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and Marie Antoinette), and this year is likely to continue that tradition. Its other two categories are more of a toss-up, though. The makeup in The Young Victoria doesn't break any new ground, but King George does look impressive. The art direction is beautiful, and the set decoration (the second aspect of the art direction Oscar) gives a very realistic and enveloping depiction of Victorian-era royal life.

If you liked The Duchess and Elizabeth, this is the movie for you.

Grade: A

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