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Recasting history as a particularly lavish soap opera, Victoria and Albert sets the story of the relationship between the queen and her consort against a background of family strife and political wrangling. Sticklers for accuracy might be disappointed, but the strong cast and lavish production values make for an entertaining film. Victoria is barely 18 when her uncle King William IV dies. She is introduced by the family adviser to a young German prince called Albert, and in spite of their initial indifference to one another and a great deal of political opposition, they fall in love. Marriage brings its own problems, however, and as Victoria, grows from an inexperienced young woman into a shrewd and powerful monarch Albert struggles to find a role for himself in both the family and the nation. The relationship between Victoria and Albert was a remarkable one and this film, while occasionally erring on the side of sentiment, brings that relationship to life. The young leads are charming, but it is the supporting cast of British acting stalwarts--including Nigel Hawthorne, David Suchet, and Diana Rigg--who make Victoria and Albert truly worth watching.

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AAE70344 Young Albert DVD (2001/Victoria Albert) $19.95 $15.99