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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

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great movie but a very poor transfer
It's only saving grace is that unlike the non-anamorphic DVD, you get the full widescreen transfer. My experience with this Blu-ray is sadly very different to the two earlier reviews. The picture quality is just about OK but no better than DVD. The sound is variable with a choice of rather booming dubbed French or a better English stereo. No subtitles or extras are...
Published on May 30 2011 by John Chandler


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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.
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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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful performances, Feb. 7 2014
By 
George Jones - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Mrs. Brown (Widescreen) (DVD)
Mrs. Brown is based on the true story of the friendship between widowed English Queen Victoria and her personal servant, John Brown, a Scotsman. The death of Queen Victoria's husband Albert resulted in her deep mourning and depression for two years, until Mr. Brown was hired. Initially, he was given the responsibility of taking care of the Queen and her horse riding, but the responsibility soon increased into Brown overseeing everything to do with the Queen's personal affairs.

The comments on the DVD cover lead us to believe that the relationship between the two transitioned into a quiet love affair. However, not even this movie portrayed that belief, and historical records certainly don't support this assumption. Brown took great care of the Queen, and took his responsibility very seriously. He had the wisdom to know how to bring her out of the depression and back into life. Victoria's true love was Prince Albert. John Brown and Victoria had a deep friendship. Her family, staff and many in the government were against their relationship. Perhaps it was because he was an outspoken, passionate (about life) Scot who threatened their idea of what it meant to be royalty.

Some have viewed this movie to be boring, slow and dull. Actually, this movie revealed how slow, boring and dull royal life really was, with protocol idolized above all else and emotion was held in check. How exciting would life be in that situation with the Queen demanding that the whole household accompany her in mourning and black dress for two years? The interpretation of English royal life in this movie was perfectly given and wonderfully acted. If there had been more truth and less fiction in the story line, I would have given this 5 stars. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys learning about British history, with a follow-up on the internet with more of the facts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Why I bought it, July 31 2013
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This review is from: Mrs. Brown (Widescreen) (DVD)
I initially purchased item because it featured Gerard Butler. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the story with a wonderful cast. It arrived in time and highly recommend it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great movie but a very poor transfer, May 30 2011
By 
John Chandler (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mrs. Brown BD [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
It's only saving grace is that unlike the non-anamorphic DVD, you get the full widescreen transfer. My experience with this Blu-ray is sadly very different to the two earlier reviews. The picture quality is just about OK but no better than DVD. The sound is variable with a choice of rather booming dubbed French or a better English stereo. No subtitles or extras are available, (other than a rubbishy medley of trailers), despite being listed on some websites as having English and French subtitles. The film is of course very fine but this is release is a disgrace. Alliance in Canada have been trashed before but this time they have excelled themselves. Hopefully this wonderful film will get a release somewhere else that does it justice. This is NOT that release. It is hardly worth a rent if you can rent the DVD cheaper! To add insult to injury it is region A locked. Mrs Brown has been very poorly served on DVD and now by this very poor Blu-ray, what a shame.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film!, Feb. 19 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Mrs. Brown (Widescreen) (DVD)
A really well done film. A few historical inaccuracies, but they do not affect the quality of the story.. Dame Judi is wonderful!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mrs. Brown review, Jan. 10 2010
By 
Leslie Boyes (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mrs. Brown (Widescreen) (DVD)
Historical drama depicting the secret (and not so secret) life of Queen Victoria and her affair with John Brown. Very well done.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magnifique, Aug. 25 2007
By 
Louis Caron "marchand d'oeuvres d'arts" (Québec, CANADA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mrs. Brown (Widescreen) (DVD)
J'ai vu la version anglaise du film. Judi Dench et Bill Connolly sont absolument remarquable dans leur rôle respectif. 5 étoiles haut la main!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Expect for Excitement and you'll be Disappointed, April 3 2004
This review is from: Mrs. Brown (Widescreen) (DVD)
Quite a lively account of Queen Victoria as a person since her husband passed away. There isn't too much drama or suspense. There is instead a lot of attention todetailssuch court life and etiquette costume etc. But it is neither as boring as one would expect from such movies.
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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
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
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.
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Mrs. Brown BD [Blu-ray]
Mrs. Brown BD [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray - 2011)
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