Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Overdue: The Young Victoria, Bruno

Two more reviews that should have been here a month ago...
The Young Victoria
Period pieces are put at such an unfair disadvantage – especially those about the monarchy. They can’t all be Elizabeth and The Lion in Winter. I suppose that’s why The Young Victoria has had such a lukewarm reception. We see the trailer and think it’s going to be heavily baity and then see it and end up being disappointed. Kind of.

This is a fine film. It’s the sort of film that entertains but it doesn’t exactly thrill. But all films aren’t made equally and we can’t all be perfect. Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend star as Victoria and her husband Prince Albert. The two do good work if nothing spectacular. There is something I took issue with. First, the makeup for Emily Blunt. Her performance as Victoria is fine; the majority of her work is portrayed in her voice. She really does sound younger than she usually does, but she doesn’t look so. The thing is Emily Blunt is not old looking but they take so many pains to make her look young that she ends up looking older. It seems like such a silly mistake since actors have been looking younger on screen for decades. Oh well. Rupert Friend is also fine as her soon to be husband. I wonder when his star will rise. Perhaps he can play Pip in the prospective Great Expectations adaptation.
Miranda Richardson plays the mother of the Queen in a throwaway role at best. But this is Miranda Richardson, so she does her best and it’s fine. Paul Bettany is also fine as Lord Melbourne. Notice how I can’t stop using the adjective fine? Because there wasn’t anything that outstanding. The movie wasn’t bad, it was really okay, and with all the crap circulating in cinemas I suppose fine ain’t too shabby? Right?
Maybe I’ll post a longer review sometime…maybe I won’t.  
Ask me something…I’m finding it impossible to review this.

There isn’t much to say about this. It’s sort of overkill for me, with Cohen. Where Borat thrived this one seemed to fail. There is only so much that could have been done with this idea, because it offers nothing fresh, no new perspective. Whereas we’ve never thought to think what a Kazakhstan country man would be like we’ve already had the gay goes straight idea, we’ve seen it run the gamut from A to Z and back. So Cohen comes off looking a little one note. I laughed, don’t get me wrong, but mostly it was the sort of cringing-I-can’t-believe-this-shit-so-stupid-wasting-my-time-make-it-stop laughter. There’s a scene at the end where Borat and a white guy claim that they conceived a young black child. For some reason that was my first genuine laugh. And it’s not particularly funny either. But maybe if he toned it down a little we could find the humour instead of it being thrown in our faces. But, if he did that he wouldn’t Sacha Baron Cohen.

And CONTRIBUTE, s’il vous plait.

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