|my photo of the dvd cover|
*goes off to look up quintessentially*
I've seen this movie a lot of times. It's one that grips my heart. It made me cry the first few times I watched it. It's a story about a young queen navigating her ascension to the monarchy, trying to fend off a regency, a revolt, and a Tory Parliament. As she makes mistakes and learns how to be a queen, she also learns who she can trust: her prime minister with his smooth words, or her uncle's marriage candidate, Albert.
Victoria has been controlled all her life (some of that is inevitable, being a future monarch). But her controllers in this story don't do so for her benefit, but for their own political advancement. The heart revolts against this kind of treatment, and Victoria needed people who would actually love and support her without self-interest and forceful behavior. Because she was controlled wrongly, she revolts against control when she becomes queen, making some major errors as a result. Ironically enough, she still falls under the control of Lord Melbourne, who pursues his self-interests with kid gloves and smooth compliments rather than Sir John Conroy's threats and force.
Victoria wants to be seen and supported--to be affirmed and loved. Because Lord M fills this role, she doesn't realize that she's fallen into the same trap that she was in before.
Then Albert enters.
Albert takes on a completely different role than John Conroy and Lord M. Instead of controlling Victoria, he becomes a friend, a partner, and a voice of wise affirmation and guidance--two things Victoria really needs. She is, after all somewhere between eighteen and twenty. She needs some help, but she needs it in a tenderer way than she's received thus far. Albert fits that bill. He's quiet, even-keeled, and steady. He's also kind, treating Victoria as someone with intellectual value and affirming her in her efforts to tackle the role she has been given in life. I like Albert. He feels safe--the epitome of 1 Peter 3:7: Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (ESV) While Victoria is not a Christian movie per say, I think Albert and Victoria epitomize what kindness and vision and oneness can look like in a Christian marriage.
There's a scene where they play chess together and Victoria asks, "Do you recommend I find a husband to play [the game] for me?" Albert responds, "I should find someone to play it with you." He neither subordinates his role to his wife's, nor does he devalue hers. Albert is no less a man and a leader for being the husband of the queen of England. He's not there to complete Victoria's life. He's his own man, and doesn't relinquish his leadership role simply because Victoria is socially above him. (I could cheer as he overhauls the palace system and tells Lord M, "I neither ask for nor require your advice.") To put in biblical terms what the movie illustrates, both Victoria and Albert have gifts, personalities, and callings, and their marriage makes them stronger and more able to accomplish the work God called them each to together than they can accomplish apart.
All that to say, it's not just a kind and even-keeled personality that can make for a good Christian marriage. Martin and Katie Luther were two strong-tempered firebrands that had one of the most glorious Christian marriages. But I am not like Katie Luther. I am more like Victoria. And therefore, when it comes to the type of person I'm looking for, characters like Albert resonate with me. I would like a marriage like this movie portrays someday.
Sex: One nude statute shown when Victoria is a girl, a row of statues shown in several scenes with King Leopold of Belgium. Victoria and Albert kiss several times. Albert and Victoria share a wedding night roughly around 1:14:47-1:17:22, 1:18:37-1:19-24, and 1:36:25-1:36-47. Some costumes are off the shoulder with low necklines.
Violence: One gunshot, bloody shoulder shown. The palace windows explode.
Language: Two instances--that might be all?