Customer Reviews


44 Reviews
5 star:
 (31)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and Sensitive, Beautifully Acted
MRS. BROWN is a film that is so exquisitely acted, so sensitive in its portrayal of grief and friendship and so lacking in artifice that it's almost impossible to find words glowing enough to describe it.
MRS. BROWN centers on Queen Victoria and is based on actual events. It opens in 1864, two years after the death of Victoria's very beloved husband, Prince Albert...
Published on May 21 2004 by Totally Anonymous

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent costume/sets - but a Boring Story
The costume and set designers for this period piece should win awards for their designs. Dame Judi Dench was a rather gruff Queen Victoria, and Billy Connolly was adequate as John Brown. Overall, the story line was executed in a most detailed, slow and boring fashion which tarnished this otherwise gem of a film.
Published on April 8 1999


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and Sensitive, Beautifully Acted, May 21 2004
This review is from: Mrs. Brown (Widescreen) (DVD)
MRS. BROWN is a film that is so exquisitely acted, so sensitive in its portrayal of grief and friendship and so lacking in artifice that it's almost impossible to find words glowing enough to describe it.
MRS. BROWN centers on Queen Victoria and is based on actual events. It opens in 1864, two years after the death of Victoria's very beloved husband, Prince Albert. Unable to pull herself out of mourning, Victoria lives in almost total isolation at Windsor Castle and her family, friends and staff have become her unwilling prisoners. Silence and grief are the rule at Windsor and even though several well-meaning friends and advisors attempt to bring the queen out of the deep depression into which she's fallen, it's all to no avail. Finally, in one last, desperate effort, Victoria's wonderfully loyal and caring secretary, Henry Posonby, sends for one of Albert's old stable hands at Balmoral, John Brown. Brown is a Highlander and Victoria, you see, subscribed to the belief that "all Highlanders are good for the health." Posonby can hope she's right.
Brown certainly shakes things up when he arrives at Windsor. Unlike Victoria's other servants, Brown doesn't coddle Victoria's depression. He's too smart for that and he knows that's not the way to get the job done. Naturally, Victoria is, at first, annoyed at Brown's loud and unpolished manner and her staff is horrified. Little by little, however, Victoria responds to Brown's affection and caring and a deep and lasting friendship develops between the two as Brown pulls Victoria back to life.
Although the friendship between Brown and Victoria develops rather slowly and, in the film, at least, there's no hint of it being anything other than platonic, palace gossips can't help but dub Victoria, "Mrs. Brown."
MRS. BROWN is primarily a film of friendship, but palace politics do play a minor role. Both Edward, the Prince of Wales and Prime Minister Disraeli dislike Brown and try their best to have him sent back to Balmoral.
It is the growing friendship between Brown and Victoria, however, that really drives this film. Judi Dench is superlative in the role of Victoria as is Billy Connolly as John Brown. Even though this isn't a "romantic" film, there is definite chemistry between Dench and Connolly and their deep and sensitive friendship is totally believable and very moving.
I expected Dench to turn in a superb performance (she never gives anything less) but Connolly's exquisite performance as John Brown is an unexpected delight simply because he's far better known for over the top comedy. In MRS. BROWN, however, he plays the part of a coarse, uneducated, but deeply caring and sensitive Highlander, perfectly.
Antony Sher as Disraeli and Geoffrey Palmer as the loyal Henry Posonby certainly deserve mention as well.
While MRS. BROWN belongs to Dench and Connolly, credit has to be given to screenwriter, Jeremy Brock and director, John Madden for keeping MRS. BROWN low-key and for letting Dench and Connolly work their magic without throwing in even a hint of romantic scandal.
MRS. BROWN is a beautiful, exquisitely acted film that should appeal to anyone who loves quality and depth over formula and thrills. MRS. BROWN is one of my most prized DVDs and I couldn't recommend it more highly.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding movie., Jan. 24 2003
This review is from: Mrs. Brown (Widescreen) (DVD)
It is very seldom that I get to watch the movie of this quality. It is absolutely brilliant.
This is a story of a unique friendship formed between two very unlike characters: Queen Victoria and her servant Mr. Brown. As the story developed I was completely absorbed by the lives of these two people, as if I was actually part of it rather then watching the film.
Story is incredibly well told (though I do wish filmmakers were not in such a rush to end it), cinematography is absolutely beautiful and as far as the historical part of the movie it was perfectly captured. And then there are actors involved in this movie.
I do not think that my knowledge of English language will allow me to fully describe superb talent of Judi Dench, which by all means is unmatched by anyone alive today. Her performance was absolutely flawless. Academy should be ashamed for not awarding her with an Oscar and choosing Helen Hunt's performance over hers. Not even a contest in my opinion.
As incredible as Judi Dench is I'm sure it is very hard to find costars that will not be completely overshadowed by her. But Billy Connelly filled the screen with his brilliant performance. Perfect chemistry between the two. And of course - Geoffrey Palmer who happens to be Judi's long time costar from BBC's "As Time Goes By" (which I think is one of the best TV comedies of all time). When you get so caught up in a movie that you forget it's not a real life you know that actors are doing an incredible job.
This is an exceptionally well made film, a stunning piece of cinematography. And I think it should be a part of any movie-lovers collection. It certainly is part of mine.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Did she or didn't she?, May 30 2003
By 
FrKurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (Bloomington, IN USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
That is the question. Of course, when one thinks of Victoria, the idea of prudishness, conservatism, and a very reserved manner in action and morality naturally come to mind. It was never unusual for monarchs, male or female, to have lovers outside of their marriages (indeed, it might be considered unusual for a monarch to have been thought to have remained faithful), but Victoria? The epitome of a repressive, almost oppresive morality? Surely not.
Don't be so sure.
Four years after the death of Prince Albert, to whom Victoria was completely devoted, and for whom she mourned in quite public and dramatic fashion, against the protests of her children and her ministers, John Brown, a favourite ghillie of the royal couple, was brought back into service of the Queen household.
Victoria's favouritism toward him, coupled with his own brash and blunt behaviour, caused him to be envied and disliked by members of her family, her household service, her ministers, and largely by the public. There were parodies of John Brown's activities, done up in the form of mock Court Circulars (the official listing of royal engagements), which appeared in the press on both sides of the Atlantic.
It is unknown if Brown actually kept a diary (the movie speculates such, but also states that no diary was ever found). There was a large black trunk of correspondence found after Victoria's death, between the Queen and her doctor at the time, Profeit, regarding John Brown. This came into the possession of her new doctor, Reid, who recorded 'most compromising' secrets into his green memorandum book. Alas, this book was burned by Reid's son, and the trunk was not found. Did it refer to a secret marriage between Victoria and John Brown, as was often speculated?
This is, in truth, unlikely -- Victoria's devotion to Albert never waned in her life, and there was a certain innocence, lack of pretense and guile in Victoria that the more political and suspicious (particularly in the press) would not have known. Both Brown and Victoria were outraged at the rumours. Brown was a servant who put no stock in class divisions and the artificiality of social conventions -- his familiarity with the Queen (in fact no different from his direct and familiar manner of relating to everyone) was simply his manner.
But then, everyone likes a good, juicy scandal, don't they? So much more interesting than decades of mourning, which makes for rather boring news leaders.
The film takes up the story with Brown's arrival at the royal residence on the Isle of Wight (an inaccuracy, as he was presented at Windsor first). The story is romantic yet reserved, and the cinematography is stunning. From the cloud-cast home on the Isle of Wight to the stately and foreboding Windsor scenes, to the unspoiled Highlands around Balmoral, this film has had great care infused in the details of costume, setting, and atmosphere.
Judi Dench gives perhaps the greatest performance of her life as the Queen, showing real emotion through the Victorian reserve in an admirable fashion (for which she was nominated for the Academy Award, and won the Golden Globe, as best actress). In a really surprising casting, Billy Connolly, best known as a comic, turns in a first class performance as John Brown, the brash Scotsman who becomes completely devoted to his Queen. Geoffrey Palmer, a solid actor known in many BBC productions, plays the Queen's private secretary, Sir Henry Ponsonby, who is continually amazed at the liberties taken by Brown (Ponsonby, in reality, saw Brown as a first class servant, and remarked so frequently in correspondence with others). This film was first proposed as a BBC television production, but ended up being so well performed and executed that it was transferred to become a cinematic release.
Given the high profile scandals of the royal family today, this story seems almost timid. But, history does repeat itself, so one can never be entirely sure, until such time as the royal archives are opened to scholars, perhaps a few centuries from now, and the truth may be known to posterity.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Judi and Billy reign together, July 23 2001
By 
Alan Sharp "Alan" (Fredericksburg, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mrs. Brown (Widescreen) (DVD)
I first saw this movie on British TV, and have since seen it in the States. I now have the DVD. Judi Dench IS Queen Victoria. Billy Connolly becomes John Brown as the movie progresses. You are absorbed into the increasingly interwined lives of these two powerful people. It's as though you are witnessing history through some kind of time machine, while you form opinions about their relationship. The Victorian notion of referring to a person quite separately from the role that person performs, to the extent of each referencing the other in the third person is superbly portrayed. One observation on the ending -- it is rather abrupt, as though the director looked at his watch and realised he was about to run out of time (money). That's a minor quibble. Why this story and the movie that tells it did not receive Oscars for Dame Judi and for Billy is a question that everybody always asks. Buy this movie and learn what the Victorian era was like. Distinguish between the telling of history and the story-telling by all means, but just enjoy it, whatever it is for you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly indepedent, April 7 2001
By 
This review is from: Mrs. Brown (Widescreen) (DVD)
Mrs. Brown
Score: 82/100
Although this film has a kind of TV-film feel to it, it is far from the standards of such TV movies as Absence of the Good. It is a professional and well-made film that deserves your time. Mrs. Brown was nominated for 2 Academy Awards, Best Actress and Best Makeup, and although it didn't pick up the Oscar, in my book, it deserved to. It also deserved to take home more nominations, and more awards.
Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) is deeply depressed after the death of her husband, disappearing from public. Her servant Mr. John Brown (Billy Connolly), who adores her, through caress and admiration brings her back to life, but that relationship creates scandalous situation and is likely to lead to monarchy crisis.
The story is sometimes confusing, and the end seemed a little rushed to me, but Mrs. Brown is still a visually easy on the eye, meticulously crafted drama with a touch of emotional romance. It's not as if Queen Victoria is in love with Mr. John Brown, it's more that she is in love with the subject of falling in love. It may seem odd reading it now, but once you've watched the film, you'll understand perfectly. The film is very brutal and full-frontal, but it sometimes stops for a touch of comedic humour, some of it funny, some of it not so funny. As for performances, it goes without saying that Judi Dench is absolutely masterful in her controlled performance as Queen Victoria. It's a truly memorable performance, a homage to the real Queen. Billy Connolly is amazing as the honest Brown, he brings the days of truthful royalty to our screens with power and divine emotion.
Mrs. Brown, directed by John Madden, is a frequently stunning picture, and although it could be a snoozer for teen audiences, for real movie-goer's, it's a must-see, a magnificent film you definitely won't want to be sleeping through.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Unspoken Love threatens to open Pandora's box, March 30 2000
By 
Mr.Brown tells a joke to old friends of his (the Grants) in the presence of the Queen, Mr.Grant then looks at her as if for permission to luagh. She starts luaghing so he and his wife join in the uproar. It is what is left unsaid that is most important in this film. The unspoken yet apparent love between Queen Victoria and her highland servant Mr.Brown echoes that of Emma Thompson an Anthony Hopkins in the 1993 masterpiece THE REMAINS OF THE DAY. Mrs.Brown never quite reaches the heights of that classic because in that film Anthony Hopkins lack of romantic involvment was more self imposed then imposed by position and therefore gained a lrager measure of poignancy. Mrs.Brown also doesn't have the poetic flow, or masterful direction of that great film. Yet it is a terrific film in its own right, elegantly (but conservatively) directed by John Madden, it gains much of its power from three performances. The first is by Dame Judi Dench who as the bruised monarch goes out of her way to ensure Mr.Brown position, her immediate affection for him is gradually displayed in the film till it reaches a peak in a very moving scene where she tell him "Without you I don't have the will to be what I must be", for that is the limit she imposes on a display of affection. Billy Connely as Mr.Brown is a man who shows his love in an obbsessive effort to protect his Queen and indeed through the film he will offer considerable sacrifice to do just that. The third wonderful performance is by an actor who plays prime minister Diseraeli, whose name I don't know but the way in which he plays him suggests smoothness and slyness to a biting fashion. There is also the subtext of the uproar of the British political establishment and internal politics among the rest of the servants , yet these events thankfully remain in the background. This film will not move you like THE REMAINS OD THE DAY but it perhaps makes for a good companion piece to that great film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding, touching story., Feb. 28 2000
By 
Kurt A. Johnson (North-Central Illinois, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Following the death of her beloved husband, Prince Albert, Queen Victoria withdrew from the outside world. As the years pass, and the Queen shows no sign of returning to duties, her entourage decides to bring her old groom from Balmoral, John Brown. Here lies the beginning of this story.
Mr. Brown succeeds in reaching the Queen, and a bond begins to grow between them, giving rise to scandal. The love they share is not one of passion, but of something much deeper - true friendship. This movie demonstrates a depth of emotion and humanity that I thought was gone from the movie industry. I would (and do) highly recommend this movie.
As with all movies, license was taken with history (e.g. John Brown served as the Queen's factotum long before Albert's death), but this is largely irrelevant to the story. My one complaint against the movie is that there is one scene where Billy Connolly briefly appears naked. The nudity adds nothing to the story and was wholly gratuitous. This, though, is probably the only scene that is unsuitable for younger viewers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Subtle tale of love and the barriers of position, April 14 1999
By A Customer
One of the most endearing things about "Mrs. Brown," for me at least, is that we're watching people who aren't particularly likeable. Possibly this is a drawback for others, but it gave some perspective to the story of how two people are transformed by love and yet can never quite connect in the way we always think of as being so very important. Right from the beginning we see Brown as an ambitious man who intends to use his position as leverage to rise within the ranks of Victoria's staff. And from the beginning we see Victoria as a self-absorbed woman whose grief has made her forget that she has a country to answer to, and for. We expect the change in her, it is after all, the focus of the film, but more subtle, and more interesting is the change we see in Brown. By the end of the film, his love for the woman has overwhelmed both his own ambition and his love for his monarch. His life's focus has narrowed to the point where, in order to preserve her safety and comfort, he is willing to antagonize almost anyone, including her son and heir, Edward. With his help she has become the queen she must be, but it's this very transformation that separates them ultimately. Family, position, and social responsibility allow them no outlet for what they feel for each other, which is no surprise, but gossip, malice and Brown's own prickly, overbearing behavior all conspire to make even their friendship impossible. And in the end, it's Brown who suffers; all of his ambitions are set aside for the sake of Victoria, his pride is battered, his peace of mind shattered, and the woman he loves becomes ever more remote as she gives her life back to her people.
Judi Dench is always worth watching, so the beauty of her performance as a woman who, even in the tenderest moments she can allow herself, is never less than regal, is a joy. But it's Billy Connolly who is a revelation here, with a performance that is beautifully realized, strong without being overpowering, emotional without resorting to curtain-chewing.
Oddly, this is not what I expected to see, and still I loved every moment. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Mrs Brown ROCKS!, July 27 1998
By 
I watched this video only recently and I was enchanted by Dame Judi Dench and Billy Connolly who gave an excellent performance as John Brown, Queen Victoria's man servant. I was a bit skeptical about the film at first but I am a convert to the cause. Watch this and enjoy, it's not a tear-jearker for those looking for kisses and roses but it will bring a lump to your throat as you watch a fragile friendship develop between the austere Queen of England and the rough and ready Scotsman who became her most loyal subject in a time of need. John Brown is never portrayed as a Saint, he is drinker and blasphemer who somehow managed to charm Queen Victoria and anger a nation at the same time. Judy Dench gives a credible performance as the brittle and aging Queen grieving for her dead husband and the storyline follows their friendship from beginning to end. Look out for the scene when John Brown goes skinny-dipping in the sea, it's enough to make your teeth chatter for a lifetime!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Mrs. Brown, Oct. 27 2002
This review is from: Mrs. Brown (Widescreen) (DVD)
Billy Conolly virtually fills the screen in a brilliant performance as Queen Victoria's (a flawless Dame Judi Dench) closest confidant and willing conduit to the outside world and public she has shunned since the death of her husband. Everytime he escorts her out for one of her morning rides and simply calls her 'woman', it's a moment of comedic joy, mild irritation and comfort that that is so nuanced and perfect that their relationship seems even deeper and tender than the story implies. The gist of the piece is that while the Queen finally begins to open up and feel alive again, naysayers and other royal advisors vehemently disapprove of her associating with a commoner and do everything in their power to put a stop to it. In the end, John Brown's devotion to her Majesty costs him his life, but the bond forged by these two individuals never dies.
"Mrs. Brown" is a stunning piece of work that is destined to become a classic. Exceptionally well done, in every aspect.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Mrs. Brown BD [Blu-ray]
Mrs. Brown BD [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray - 2011)
CDN$ 19.99 CDN$ 11.99
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews