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The Young Victoria

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In one of the more lively moments in The Young Victoria, an aging King William IV interrupts an exquisite but stifling banquet with a drunken tirade at the Duchess of Kent (Victoria's mother) for ingratitude, which is perhaps a polite way of rebuking her designs on a position of greater wealth and influence. For much of the rest of Jean-Marc Vallée's romance novel on film, the camera dwells on lavish costumes and palaces and contrived scenes like a flirtatious one in which the young Victoria (Emily Blunt) and Prince Albert (Rupert Friend) overburden a metaphor about their chaperoned game of chess. Also slightly ill-fitting is the hint of a more modern dilemma in a relationship between an aspiring career woman and a man who has trouble accepting that he's not the breadwinner in the family. But Blunt glows as the young queen and bride. There are growing pains as she ascends the throne at 18 years old and learns the hard way that everyone wants something from her. Sweet Albert, however, only wants to lend support, and the film offers a melodramatic fairy tale of a professional couple having it all. — Will Coviello

The Young Victoria (PG)

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee

Limited release

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