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Archive for the ‘Period Drama’ Category

I do enjoy films that are based on history and this film was one of them. The Young Victoria is based on the preceding rein of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

The story unfolds with Victoria (Emily Blunt) growing up in a royal household with strict limitations. She meets her cousin Albert (Rupert Friend). They develop a deep friendship that later becomes love and devotion. Emily Blunt is an outstanding actress and I lost myself in her passion and fiestiness and the change in her character was beautifully done. Following their marriage, Prince Albert struggles with not being ‘helpful’ and sharing the burdens of Queen Victoria’s obligations, which I thought was just beautiful.

The film has a few characters that will have you guessing, but I won’t spoil it for anyone that hasn’t seen it. I have to admit I was not struck on Rupert Friend being cast as he reminds me of the dreaded Leonardo Di Caprio. However, his acting was sincere and genteel and I have to admit that I am now becoming a  fan.

I had researched the history of Queen Victoria prior to watching the film and overall I was happy with what was portrayed. Although, I would have liked to see more of their ‘married’ lives revealed. Queen Victoria married Prince Albert out of unmitigated love, and her love for him was still demonstrated after his death where she had his clothes laid out every morning for 40 years after his death. Victoria was apparently very outgoing and passionate when she was young, and after losing her husband she became the complete opposite and apparently became repressed and withdrew largely from the public and remained in mourning for many years with calls to abolish the Monarchy.

Some of this history would have made a beautiful ending. The way I see it is that if you are producing a film that is based on events and is a historical romance, an actual history that has ‘love’ should have been included in the story (and … there was certainly enough time to lengthen the film) – let’s face it, which royals have married for love?

Starring: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Jim Broadbent, Miranda Richardson

I really loved this film’s lavish costumes and scenery. The characters were all very well cast. I liked the cheekiness and more serious subjects of the film. And for ladies that love their Swarovski jewellery, I believe that various jewellery was loaned by Swarovski from their archive collections.

I Rate it: ♥♥♥

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Miss Potter Movie Poster

Miss Potter Movie Poster

This is a sweet and whimsical biopic story of  Beatrix Potter (Renee Zellweger). It focuses on the development of the characters she illustrated and created stories of. It shows Beatrix as a child, growing up with a fantastical mind of stories and illustrations.

Beatrix is independant and a loner but quite content to live in the realm of her characters, although her mother is disaproving of her pursuit of publicating her works. I am not generally a huge fan of Renee Zellweger as her acting is generally ‘child-like’ , odd and slightly unhinged (probably not unlike her private life). However, this part definitely suited her – OR perhaps I am only jealous that she played alongside Colin Firth in Bridget Jones’s Diary 😉

Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor) plays a really good part too. Norman Warne is sweet and kindly and encourages and inspires Beatrix with her work as the success of her first publication exceeded expectations. It is a love story that has limitations with confining social values of the Victorian era.

Millie Warne (Emily Watson) befriends Beatrix as they share a common ground – they are both spinsters with independance.

I remember reading and owning Peter Rabbit as a child, and I still have my ‘Bunnykins’ plate and bowl set that I used as a child. Watching this brought back a flood of memories of childhood.

Starring: Renee Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Emily Watson

I enjoyed this movie, it had breathtaking scenery and captured the essence of the main characters emotions. The animations used to bring her charaters to life were a delight and nicely  produced – It is worth viewing.

I Rate it: ♥♥

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This is an adaptation of the classic horror novel by Henry James. A governess, Miss (Jodhi May) is employed by the Master (Colin Firth) to care for his children without disruption or contact from either.  The children appear to be perfect, loving and kind natured. The governess finds a good friend in the housekeeper Mrs Grose (Pam Ferris), I thought she appeared suspicious herself but it turned out I was wrong. The governess’s life seems perfect, the children are clever and she is in charge of the entire estate.

Not knowing the story before hand, I didn’t realise Colin Firth appeared for approx 5 mins. This was really disappointing, so for all the Colin Firth fans you will only get time to blow him a kiss. If you need your Colin Firth Fix, I have posted the first part of the movie (with Colin Firth).


The ghost of Peter Quint (Jason Salkey) begins to appear.  Miss finds out that he is the Master’s former valet, who died under mysterious circumstances and later learns that her predecessor’s death was also mysterious. Miss witnesses the children whispering to each other and she soon becomes increasingly paranoid of what they are talking about or perhaps planning. She learns that the children can see the ghosts and becomes protective of the children as her fear begins to manifest with the ‘ghostly’ encounters.  However, the children oppose her protective behaviour and they soon turn from her. Are the ghosts real or simply the result of the governess’s over-active imagination.  Were the children possessed by spirits? Not sure… but their parts were well acted.

Jodhi May played a good part, but I think that the movie was too short to develop the character and it took a short time for her to begin to become psychotic. I think she is a great actress but unfortunately this role did not do her justice.

Starring: Colin Firth, Jodhi May, Pam Ferris

Unfortunately, it did not meet my expectations. I did expect to see more of Colin Firth. Perhaps if his name was not on the cover I may have viewed this movie a little more differently. It is a tragic and depressing story that failed to create a sense of horror or creepiness but did have suspenseful moments.

I Rate it: ♥♥

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Miss Austen regretsI enjoyed Miss Austen Regrets with this biopic production of the life of Jane Austen. Jane Austen (Olivia Williams) plays a refreshing character with witty dialogue and intelligence. Olivia played the part beautifully and to perfection. Apparently the script was based on the letters Jane Austen sent to her sister with many of the quotes coming directly from Jane Austen’s letters and diaries, which gave the movie a sense of authenticity.

I was drawn into the life and time of Jane. However, I felt it concluded way to soon. It’s a shame that they did not make this into a Mini Series – I felt that 90 minutes was not long enough to develop the characters. Due to this, i thought i was a shame that they portrayed Jane as a slightly embarrassing flirt with every man she came in contact with – apart from her brother!

The Rev. Brook Bridges (Hugh Bonneville) reminded me of Mr Darcy in the Pride & Prejudice production played by Colin Firth, with his looks and demeanour. This was quite cleverly portrayed and perhaps a way of capturing the audience with the success of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ – let’s face it, who didn’t fall in love with Mr Darcy *swoon*!
Her brother Henry is played by Comedian Adrian Edmondson. I was quite excited to see Adrian’s name in the credits as the movie began, as a long time Bottom and The Young Ones fan, I imagined the contrast that his character may play would be interesting. I wasn’t disappointed, he played the role well as the incredibly kind and vulnerable brother.
I initially thought her sister Cassandra (Greta Scacchi) was her mother. Cassandra looked OLD and at least 20 years older than Jane. It’s a shame they decided to chose her to fill the role.
I thought they related her illness to the ‘regret’ that was produced from her own inability to marry. Perhaps that was the case, but someone as accomplished, creative and ambitious as Jane, would have had little time to dwell on that fact.

Starring: Olivia Williams, Greta Scacchi, Imogen Poots, Hugh Bonneville, Adrian Edmondson

Overall, it was a heartfelt, well acted production of which I felt empathy for Jane’s character. I enjoyed it immensely.

I Rate it: ♥♥♥♥

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