Mrs. Brown

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * * * · )    DVD Rating: ( * · · · · )

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Ok, you are reading the reviews of an idiot. I admit my knowledge of European history is quite slim, but it is no excuse. For the first hour and thirty eight minutes (only within 20 minutes of the end of the movie) I thought I was watching another account of Queen Elizabeth only to realize it was Queen Victoria. I was sitting and thinking about how all that virgin queen stuff was a bunch of crap (Victoria had two husbands). Then in a toast to her I realized my folley. Mrs. Brown is the story of a Scottish commoner, John Brown, who becomes the close personal protector and friend of a depressed Queen Victoria (I will save you the embarrassment of thinking it is 200 years earlier than it is). The movie almost has a hint of the rotten Titanic smell as a low class male swoons an aristocrat with his foul tongue and lack of respect, but the deep characters push the stench away. The sets and costumes are perfectly subtle, not taking attention away as they almost did in Elizabeth. Unfortunately the end just kind of happens rather suddenly and really does little to conclude the story. The DVD was a Miramax joke with a very soft 1.85 to 1 non 16x9 enhanced picture and a rather lame Dolby pro-logic soundtrack. There were no extras. Overall this movie proves that there is a huge range between a four and a five rating. While it is certainly an excellent and enjoyable film, it isn't a spot of lint on Elizabeth.