Arts & Life

Victoria Day viewing pleasures

What better way to celebrate a cold, wet Victoria Day than with a pair of films that bookend our longest-reigning monarch’s extraordinary life. The Young Victoria (2009) with Emily Blunt in the eponymous role, and Mrs. Brown (1997) with the incomparable Dame Judi Dench as the ageing, reclusive Queen.

Both films, of course, take certain liberties with the facts. So it goes when Hollywood does history.

Were you looking for an historically accurate accounting of her life and times, far better you consult the Royal Family’s own website, Wikipedia or an old-fashioned encyclopedia.

If, on the other hand, you’re looking for an entertaining way to while away the afternoon, you can’t do better than these two films: Victoria as she ascends the throne and marries the dashing Prince Albert; nearing the end of her life, still grieving the death of her husband while holed up in Scotland, protected by the loyalest of servants, Brown.

A word of advice, however. Start with Mrs. Brown. It is the darker, more somber of the two films and nobody should end a long weekend on a sad note. Far better to end it with the hopeful, romance-filled Young Victoria.