The Young Victoria (2009)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 29-Dec-2009

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Biopic Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Making Of-x 5
Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailer
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 100:25
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jean-Marc Vallée
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Emily Blunt
Rupert Friend
Paul Bettany
Miranda Richardson
Jim Broadbent
Thomas Kretschmann
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Ilan Eshkeri


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Titling (Burned In)
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    We watch quite a few historical costume dramas in our house and I have also reviewed quite a few such as The Duchess and Vanity Fair. In some ways, this film doesn't really fit into the same category despite the costumes and the drama and the history involved. The approach here is more of a biopic investigating a particular period of Queen Victoria's life, with a focus on the romantic elements of the story, than it is a traditional costume drama such as The Duchess. There the approach heightened the drama whereas here the story is told in a more personal and normal way. I do not point this out to criticise either form of movie, as both have their own merits, but rather to explain the approach taken by this film.

   As you can probably guess from the title, The Young Victoria tells the story of Queen Victoria (Emily Blunt) while she was young, which is certainly different to most previous screen portrayals of Victoria which tend to show the older, widowed Victoria in her long mourning after the death of Prince Albert (Rupert Friend). This film begins one year before she became Queen of England in 1836. She is living with her widowed mother, the Duchess of Kent (Miranda Richardson) who is obsessed with Victoria's safety as she is the sole heir of the throne, being the only surviving child of the King, William IV (Jim Broadbent) or his two brothers. She is in fact the King's niece. Her mother is controlled by the head of her household, Sir John Conroy (Mark Strong) who has political ambitions and wants to rule as Regent when the old King dies. He is also an alcoholic with violent tendencies. Victoria's life at this point is very controlled and she has little freedom. The story follows Victoria's life through her first meeting's with Albert, her coronation, Public adulation, political manoeuvrings, scandal, Public disapproval, marriage, arguments, an assassination attempt and finally happiness with Albert. The film ends in about 1843.

    This film's genesis begins with Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York (who is a Producer of the film) pitching the idea to well known English producer, Graham King, then in the middle of producing The Departed with Martin Scorcese. He liked the idea and in consultation with Scorcese decided to get the movie made. They then brought in up and coming director, Jean-Marc Vallee and Oscar winning writer, Julian Fellowes. It was filmed on location at various stately homes/palaces in England and at Shepparton Studios.

    I enjoyed this film without feeling that it made the top echelon of films in this genre. The cast are all good especially Rupert Friend who is excellent as Albert. As you would expect from a film of this ilk, made by a crew of this quality (many Oscar winners are in the technical teams) the costumes, sets and cinematography are all excellent. The use of colour, darker for her life with her mother, brighter after her coronation, is excellent. My only criticism of this film, which was made even more obvious to me after viewing the deleted scenes, is that a slightly longer runtime would have filled out some of the subplots which were not fully explained and also allowed for more character development. Another 10 or 15 minutes would still have kept the runtime under 2 hours.

   Regardless, this is a well made film telling a story that has not often been told. Recommended for genre fans.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good.

    The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced widescreen.

    The picture was quite clear and sharp without being up with the best of modern transfers. Shadow detail was variable but this seems to have been an artistic choice involving colour schemes.

    The colour was excellent throughout.

    Artefacts included some minor aliasing at 5:10 and some minor MPEG artefacts at 53:30.

    There are optional subtitles in English for the hearing impaired plus burned-in subtitles for the ocassional German spoken.

    The layer change was not noticeable.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio is excellent.

    This DVD contains four audio options, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s, an English DTS 5.1 soundtrack, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 224Kb/s and an English Audio Descriptive  2.0 track encoded at 224Kb/s. The DTS track does a truly wonderful job especially with the beautiful music. The music here is an immersive experience in itself. The Dolby Digital surround track is also very good but not quite as full as the DTS experience.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout. There were no audio sync issues.

    The music consists of a score by Ilan Eshkeri plus some famous classical pieces. There is also a completely incongruous Sinead O'Connor track during the end credits. The music is amrvellous and as I mentioned above sounds truly wonderful on this transfer.

    The surround speakers are used constantly for music and quite a few directional effects such as marching and off screen voices.

    The subwoofer is also well used for the music and crowd scenes and the like.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     All the extras are contained on a second disc. There is a play all option.

Menu

    The menu includes an introduction and immersive 5.1 sound. Scene selection is available.

Creating the Young Victoria (5:45)

    Short featurette about making the film featuring interview snippets from cast and crew plus Sarah Ferguson. No great insights.

The Coronation (2:48) 

    The historical adviser describes how he set up for the coronation scene and how he worked with the actors to get it right.

Lavish History : A look at the Costumes & Locations (7:37) 

    Crew interviews about recreating reality and the use of locations.

The Real Queen Victoria (7:29) 

    Features excepts from Victoria's diaries and interviews with the cast discusses their views on her life.

The Wedding (2:37) 

    Writer interview but little else here.

Deleted Scenes (21:48) 

    This is the highlight of the extras. There are lots of interesting deleted and extended scenes here including more character development, more of Victoria's relationship with her governess which was brushed over a bit in the movie and coverage of the Lady Flora Hastings scandal. Personally, I think some of these scenes should have stayed in the final cut.

Theatrical Trailer (2:27) 

   

 

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There does not seem to be a Region 1 version to date. There is a Region 2 version and based on the little information I can find it seems to not include the DTS track and possibly some of the extras. On this basis the Region 4 is the winner.

Summary

    A quality biopic of Queen Victoria when she was young.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    A good selection of decent extras are available.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-NS708H upscaling to 1080p, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE