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年轻的维多利亚 The Young Victoria 英语影评

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年轻的维多利亚 The Young Victoria 英语影评

Queen Victoria may not have had superpowers, but she did once run an empire.

And she wasn't always that squat, stern-faced frump in widow's weeds. Britain's longest-reigning monarch was a teenager once, with all the attendant insecurity and wilfulness. Julian Fellowes' script for The Young Victoria offers a portrait of the fledgling queen which is dainty, sweet, light as a feather but not very satisfying. A Victoria sponge, you might say. The film has a situation, a tone, and a strong personality at its centre. What it doesn't have is a plot, and you soon feel the lack of it.

It begins in the manner of a Gothic melodrama. The 17-year-old princess (Emily Blunt) is kept a virtual prisoner by her mother, the Duchess of Kent (Miranda Richardson), and her ambitious adviser Conroy (Mark Strong), who try to usurp Victoria's power under cover of a regency. Neurotically chaperoned, the girl is not allowed even to descend a staircase without holding someone's hand. Fortunately, Victoria has turned 18 by the time her uncle, William IV (Jim Broadbent), passes on, and thus succeeds him as monarch in her own name. Her first decree is to banish her mother and Conroy to remote apartments in Buckingham Palace.

Running alongside this intrigue is Victoria's long-distance courtship with her German cousin, Prince Albert (Rupert Friend), and her quasi-romantic friendship with the Prime Minister, Melbourne (Paul Bettany), both of which augur promising developments. Her association with Melbourne is subject to a row over patronage, while her burgeoning love for Albert finally swoons into marriage. Yet neither is really put to work as drama. Once Victoria establishes mastery over her court, Melbourne is seen to fade away just as Conroy and her mother did. And her blissful union with Albert is only briefly threatened by an argument over status before he apparently saves her life in public.

Despite its vague salute to the young queen's strength of will, there is little sense of momentum carrying the film through. Emily Blunt gives a pert lift to Victoria's traditional sobriety, though her perfect teeth are a gleaming anachronism. Rupert Friend looks remarkably similar to the Albert of history – but references to his famous "ring" go sadly unmentioned. What's really disappointing, however, is the film's determined politeness: its reluctance to investigate has left it looking rather sanitised, and even a bit obsequious. (Fergie, Duchess of York, is one of the producers). All the period trappings –decor, duds, dances – are immaculate, though presented in the manner of a set-text reconstruction rather than a living, breathing drama.

 


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