(2-8-10) Greetings again from the darkness. Emily Blunt would have stolen The Devil Wears Prada if not for the queen of screen, Meryl Streep. Here she competes with no one and does a nice job of carrying this film based on the early years of Queen Victoria. If you are rusty on your British sovereign history, she ruled from 1837-1901.
For 20 of these years, she was married to her true love, Prince Albert (played well by Rupert Friend). While the two meet as youngsters, the bond between them comes from their letters … an early precursor to eHarmony?? We know Victoria mostly from royal portraits, so it’s nice to see her as a rebellious youngster trying to learn the tricks of the trade, even while being manipulated like a pawn by her mother (Miranda Richardson) and her mother’s lover (Mark Strong). We get to see her tenacity blossom as she matures and literally grows up into the monarchy.
While Ms. Blunt’s performance is strong, Julian Fellowes’ writing is not at the level of his previous work in Gosford Park. We do get some of the same power plays, but it is missing the nuances of that much better film.