The Young Victoria movie review: The film based on the accession to the throne and early reign of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, and her marriage to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Victoria (Emily Blunt) was only 18 when she took over the U.K. throne, and many thought she was too young to rule. This dramatization sees Victoria confronted with a great deal of influence: John Conroy (Mark Strong) thinks he should lead; trusted advisor Lord Melbourne (Paul Bettany) potentially uses Victoria for his own political gain; and Prince Albert (Rupert Friend), who loves Victoria and exchanges letters with her, hopes to one day become her husband. Those with even a little historical knowledge know that he got his wish.
The buzz: You're probably super-psyched for another costume drama biopic, right? I'm not, but Blunt, who's a bit more attractive than the real Victoria, is very reliable, and hopefully The Young Victoria taps into the legacy of the longest-serving British monarch.
The verdict: Of course the sets are lavish. Blunt also acquits herself nicely to a withdrawn role, and for a few minutes the film makes internal politics within the palace seem interesting. Mostly The Young Victoria is just an unfocused tale of royal fussiness—surrounded by a bland love story, which is then followed by a closing note about all the wonderful things Victoria went on to do. It's presented as if to say, By the way, here's why you should care about what you just slept through.