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Long Live the King: The Appeal of the King’s Speech…

The King’s Speech was available to rent this weekend, and will go on sale next weekend. Indeed, it seems like perfect timing to release the DVD, what with all the press buzz about the monarchy this past week. It seems you can’t turn a corner without bumping into a newspaper vendor who is stocked up on tabloid promising exclusive looks at various aspects of the ceremony, or turn on the television without being subjected to a five-hour marathon of How to Marry a Prince. I’m not making that one up either, it’s actually a show running on Living HD. Yep. And I live in Ireland, a country that spent a significant amount of time trying to distance ourselves from the monarchy… imagine how overwhelming it might be if I was based in Britain. Still, it seems royalty has a very special appeal, at least based on the box office success of The King’s Speech and the viewing figures from the ceremony… so why, when most of the globe struggled to be free of this particular monarchy, are they so fascinating?

Colin all film fans!

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Non-Review Review: The Young Victoria

There are a few period dramas about classical nobility released every year. Most of them, such as The Dutchess are fairly bland and lifeless affairs – indeed, it’s hard to create an energy or dynamism around a world most of us have never known which is built upon self-restraint and self-control. The tendency is towards po-faced self-importance and excessive melodrama. While I would be hard pressed to describe The Young Victoria as “exciting” or “thrilling”, it is one of the better period pieces I have seen to focus on the British Royal Family, perhaps because – despite the impressive scope of its subject matter (Queen Victoria was, as the end titlecard informs us, the longest-serving monarch of Great Britain) – it remains tightly focused. It’s a story of courtship and romance, loyalty and dependency. It’s a genuinely and honestly romantic film.

Royalty and politics make strange bedfellows...

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