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Mrs. Brown BD [Blu-ray]
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A romantic drama in the Masterpiece Theater vein, this John Madden film looks at the relationship between Queen Victoria and John Brown, a commoner who, though a servant, becomes her closest friend and confidant. As such, he proves the catalyst to bring her back into public life and out of her private mourning for the late Prince Albert. But the closeness of their friendship sets tongues wagging about the impropriety of what appears to be an affair between queen and commoner (an issue the film never directly addresses). The film's charm lies in the flinty give-and-take between the wonderfully starchy Judi Dench as Victoria and the robust Scottish comedian Billy Connolly, here playing it straight as a strong-willed Scotsman who comes to enjoy the power he wields by virtue of having the queen's ear. Antony Sher is also striking as Prime Minister Disraeli, in a performance that all but shimmers with unspoken malice. --Marshall Fine --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.
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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.
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."
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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.
Most recent customer reviews
I have always been interested in stories of the English royal family. The history going back to Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth 1st ( illegitimate daughter of Henry the 8th )... Read morePublished 11 months ago by mirabel
loved this movie - Judy Dench is brilliant as usual in this & Billy Connelly was the perfect choice to portray Mr. Brown . S.C.Published 14 months ago by shirley cassell
Wonderful historical reconstitution, very loyal to actual facts. Superb acting. I can only recommend this movie to history buffsPublished 20 months ago by Monica von Meerheimb
An intriguing story brought to life by excellent actors and glorious scenery.Published 22 months ago by Veronica Cowling
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.Published on July 31 2013 by Barb