Monday, 16 March 2009

Hair apparent

Mr Gnome relishes a classy biopic and, naturally enough, was eager to see the new movie The Young Victoria.

The film takes a leisurely stroll through the early years of the Queen Empress, sketching in the dynastic intrigues surrounding her not entirely smooth path to the throne.

Nice to see her portrayed as the vivacious, passionate woman that her diaries so cleary reveal. Prim, she wasn't.

And very worthy of screenwriter Julian Fellowes to give us so much of the political background.

Lovely frocks, of course.

One remained fully conscious, though not exactly gripped by the ambience - think of a costume version of OK! magazine: 'Oh look, there's the Duke of Wellington.'

But what the movie lacked in action was more than compensated for by the aspect that kept one's attention at eye-popping alert throughout: the thrilling array of outrageous wigs sported by the male members of the cast.

Lord Melbourne's hair-do was a blond candyfloss concoction of such delicious magnificence that actor Paul Bettany couldn't keep his hands off it - pat, poke, prod, non-stop.

The ever-reliable Jim Broadbent's portrayal of King William IV was loopily enhanced by what appeared to be a snowy white shaving brush attached to the royal bonce.

And it was a pleasure to see tip-top thesp Michael Maloney dropping in as Sir Robert Peel, his small but pleasing features overshadowed by a bouffant barnet of Braggian splendour.

Hurrah! Good value.

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