Friday, January 23, 2009

The Young Victoria is Coming!!

And I'm not referring to Mrs. Bleck-ham. THE YOUNG VICTORIA is a movie opening this March and features Emily Blunt in the leading role of Queen Victoria. (Remember Blunt as the snarky secretary in THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA?) It begins in 1836 and tells the story of the early years of Victoria, before she became queen at the age of eighteen, and of her romance with Prince Albert. We're used to thinking of Queen Victoria as a fat dowdy old woman dressed in black who ruled England for over sixty years. But this movie shows us the flirty, saucy side of her. Martin Scorcese is attached to the project, as is Graham King (THE AVIATOR, THE DEPARTED) so I'm pretty excited.

Trivia alert: I've been in her bedroom and private suites in Kensington Palace. I wandered through it all alone on a rainy February day a few years ago when I ditched my husband and kids at the Natural History Museum (been there, done that, didn't want to see another stuffed monkey.) The palace was fairly deserted owing to bad weather and the late afternoon hour, so I pretty much had the place to myself. The clouds cleared just as I reached her bedroom and I stood in the silence and just breathed in the essence of the place. Pretty cool beans, I'll tell you. Check out the trailer:

True Confession Time: I'm a Masterpiece Theatre girl going way back to 1971 when it began. Remember the introductory music, the Rondeau from "Symphonies and Fanfares for the King's Supper"? Brought to you by Exxon Mobil? And the eloquent, erudite Alistair Cooke sitting in his wing-backed chair by the fire introducing each episode? Oh, I get all fluttery just thinking about it. I used Masterpiece Theatre as a reward, a much needed break from studying (along with the Mary Tyler Moore Show) when I was at university, so I still get an almost Pavlovian response when I hear the music. Like eyes welling up, sighing, hugging self kind of reaction. Remember, this was before PVRs and TiVo and such, so you had to drop everything when it was on and cosy up to the television which was the size of a small truck. It was such a guilty pleasure to sip tea and eat dark chocolate-covered digestives and forget work and my self-imposed student poverty for a short while.

Hands up those of you who also watched:
THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN (although now all I can think of is "want bitty" when I see Geraldine James, so that's pretty much ruined that one for me, thank you LITTLE BRITAIN)

Listen to this and tell me you're not feeling it:

Fanfare ("Masterpiece Theater" Theme) - English Philharmonic Orchestra

Edited to add:

If you want to see the remaining cast members at their 2007 reunion, go HERE


Susan Adrian said...

Oooh, thanks for the heads-up! I'll want to see that one. :)

Trudy said...

Hand way up!
We watched Masterpiece Theatre every Sunday night for Upstairs, Downstairs. It was a big treat, and dropping everything - so worth it.

Anonymous said...

Ohhhhh....Upstairs, Downstairs.....I loved that program. And that music - makes me want a cup of tea. I think I need to watch it again. Sigh.

A Novel Woman said...

I know. Rose, and Hudson, and Mrs. Bridges and poor old Ruby. I always felt so sorry for Ruby.

A Novel Woman said...

I added a link to a reunion in 2007

They look fabulous.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

delete that last comment - I screwed something up -

Deniz Bevan said...

I'm a teeny weeny bit upset now. Thinking of *my* university days... I would have loved to have a friend like you back then :-) Instead, McGill was full of... well, let's not go there...

A Novel Woman said...

Ah, Deniz, university days were horrible! I didn't live on campus, but off-off-off campus in a dive of an apartment in an unsafe neighbourhood (there was a chalk outline in the lobby the day I moved it, due to a fatal shooting the night before, which pretty much tells you all you need to know.) At that time, there were about 50,000 students attending U of T, so I didn't make any close friends because it was so impersonal and competitive. I just studied, 22.5/7 (one hour for Masterpiece Theatre and 1/2 hour for Mary Tyler Moore.)

That's why we sent Eldest out of town to Mount Allison University on the east coast. She lived in residence in the small town, and made a ton of really close friends and has loved it. It was the best thing we could have done for her, although it killed me to send her so far away.

BB said...

Upstairs Downstairs rings a few bells for me... my uni days were filled with study (hmmm, so pleased I wasted a gazillion braincells on architecture!) and working at an all-hours restaurant. Not sure I even had a TV. I was one busy chick!

When my broadband gets some pace up again I shall attempt to see whatever streaming stuff you have here!!

Anonymous said...

If you're looking for a 'date' to go see the Young Victoria, count me in!
Did you not also watch Brideshead Revisited, with Sebastian and "Bridey" and of course, the artist Charles Ryder, played by a young Jeremy Irons?
I was excited to see a new release of Brideshead Revisited at the video store in the village this week, until I realized that it's a recent movie based also on Evelyn Waugh's novel and not the old TV series. How disappointing! I loved that show even MORE than Upstairs Downstairs, which I rarely missed.
When we were planning our wedding, the organist suggested the theme from Masterpiece Theatre as the music to be used when my Dad and I walked down the aisle. Kind of wish I'd chosen that...
Thanks for posting the link to the reunion. It was nice to see old friends again.

A Novel Woman said...

Dear SpankyPants182,

Of COURSE I loved BRIDESHEAD REVISITED, like literally swooned when it came on, but that wasn't Masterpiece Theatre. It was part of the PBS Great Performances.

Quick, what was the name of Sebastian's teddy bear?


Deniz Bevan said...

I must admit, most of the disappointment was my fault for having such high expectations in the first place. Speaking of Brideshead Revisited - that's what my head was full of. I figured McGill would be a mini-Oxford or Cambridge, with Stephen Fry types quoting poetry and having witty conversations and lively debates from the balconies. I pictured rowing and cricket and rugby - and balls (er, the fancy dress kind). I envisioned pranks, hijinks, all sorts of stuff. I got none of that (we won't rant about the boring, ugly things that the students *did* do, but let's just mention showing up for class in sweatpants...)
I was studious too :-) I worked 20 hours or more at the Mcgill College Street Second Cup (maybe I saw you and didn't know?) and had other stuff going on, and still got all my assignments done on time. It was very galling to have students whining to our teachers about how they couldn't write their essay over the weekend because of a swim meet on Saturday... And for the teacher to let them off!
Sorry, I said I wouldn't rant. I saw one prank the whole time I was there. Some magical, mysterious person replaced the Arts building sign with one that read Radiology Dept. It was there for days before they had it fixed...

Martha said...

That's Orlando Bloom as Albert! Wonderful! I've loved him since he was Legolas the elf prince in The Lord of the Rings movies. Also in Kingdom of Heaven, although it took a while to get used to him with dark hair. What a great concept for a movie. Victoria was young and beautiful and married to her prince, whom she adored.
Re the Masterpiece Theater, I loved I Claudius and Elizabeth R with Glenda Jackson. Remember that one?