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Making of a fiery monarch

PUBLISHED: 13:06 04 March 2009 | UPDATED: 17:10 16 August 2010

AMUSED: Emily Blunt in The Young Victoria.

AMUSED: Emily Blunt in The Young Victoria.

YET another period adaptation opens this weekend but this time it is a little closer to our time. Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes brings us The Young Victoria, which details how the teenager was crowned at 18 and learned to cope with the self-

YET another period adaptation opens this weekend but this time it is a little closer to our time.

Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes brings us The Young Victoria, which details how the teenager was crowned at 18 and learned to cope with the self-serving nature of those surrounding her.

Trying to mix the dramatic intensity of Elizabeth with the romance of Shakespeare in Love, the film teeters on the verge of television adaptation.

But the sumptuous costumes, the high production values and great locations signal a major cinematic release.

Emily Blunt, following her roles in My Summer of Love and The Devil Wears Prada, plays the fiery monarch with a quiet strength.

And, of course, it is refreshing to see someone other than Keira Knightley play the leading role in a costume drama.

The film charts the famous love affair between Victoria and her first cousin, Albert, who originally got close to her in a tactical move to unite the families.

But, as with all good love stories, things didn't work out as planned and the pair fell deeply in love.

The intricacies of the scheming of those around the young lovers are played out brilliantly by a great cast, including Miranda Richardson, Mark Strong, Paul Bettany and Jim Broadbent.

Martin Scorsese, who picks up a producer credit, does seem to struggle when he dips his toes into something other than the mean streets of New York, The Age of Innocence notwithstanding.

The tone struggles to reach the right note in a sea of otherwise flawless performances.

The Young Victoria is in cinemas from tomorrow.

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