Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tonight's Movie (Revisited): The Young Victoria (2009)

Thanks to my new all-region player, today I had the opportunity to watch the outstanding film THE YOUNG VICTORIA on DVD.

I previously saw the movie thanks to British Airways; my May review is posted here, and I suggest reading it before this post if you missed it the first time around.

The film is currently only available on Region 2 DVD. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to watch the film in widescreen; this time I also picked up on some more subtle bits of dialogue which were drowned out by airplane noise on my previous viewings.

I can't emphasize enough how very much I enjoy this film, and I particularly want to call attention to it and let potentially interested audiences know of its existence, as it still does not have a United States release date. (I came across a recent blog comment by someone who attended a focus group screening in San Diego, which was conducted to help decide whether to even open the film in the U.S.) The film remained as intensely interesting to me the third time as the first, and indeed, the film is so richly detailed that I noticed many things on this viewing which were missed previously.

The DVD has excellent extras and is only lacking a commentary. There are mini-featurettes on the making of the film, a trailer, and deleted scenes.

The deleted scenes were fascinating, although after watching them I felt that the final edit made the best choices. Among other things, an entire subplot about Lady Flora Hastings was edited out of the film, leaving her strictly a background character in several scenes. I think the editing and cross-cutting in this movie is one of its great strengths, showing what was happening in two or three places at once and keeping a strong pace as well as threading the romance through historic events.

Although those viewers who are not interested in British history may feel as though they're walking into the middle of an unfamiliar story -- which is doubtless part of what is causing a question about how to market a U.S. release -- the movie sets the stage for those unfamiliar with Victoria's story in a matter of minutes. The film has fascinating dramatic threads as the power struggle to control the teenage queen plays out alongside a developing love story. The fact that it's all true (with minor dramatic license) only makes it more interesting.

I also like the music, which I'll be purchasing from Amazon.UK at some point. (Even with shipping, it's far cheaper purchasing it there than buying it from a U.S. company as an import!)

This film has zoomed onto my list of favorite movies, which is relatively rare for films made in the last couple decades. I hope many more people here in the U.S. will have the opportunity to see it in the months to come.


Blogger Irene said...

I wish there was someplace we could leave comments letting "them" know we would like to have a US release on this film. They've had plenty of historical, British themed movies here so I don't see what the problem is.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

I'd like to see this, but don't have a multi-region player and don't want to mess up my computer's region.

You'll have loan me your new player. LOL!!!!


9:51 PM  

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