Mrs. Brown

  • 1997
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Drama, Historical

An intelligent story for the kilts-and-corsets crowd, about Queen Victoria's (Judi Dench) little-known relationship with gruff and willful Scottish servant John Brown (Billy Connolly). A trusted companion to her deceased husband, Brown is brought in to jolly the royal widow out of her prolonged, uninterrupted period of mourning. Brown applies himself to...read more

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Reviewed by Sandra Contreras
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An intelligent story for the kilts-and-corsets crowd, about Queen Victoria's (Judi Dench) little-known relationship with gruff and willful Scottish servant John Brown (Billy Connolly). A trusted companion to her deceased husband,

Brown is brought in to jolly the royal widow out of her prolonged, uninterrupted period of mourning. Brown applies himself to the task with such vigor -- not only drawing the Queen out of her depression but actually compelling her to enjoy herself -- that he quickly alienates most of her

deferential staff, particularly private secretary Sir Henry Ponsonby (Geoffrey Palmer) and frustrated son Bertie (David Westhead). Brown and Victoria become so close that contemporaries snidely refer to the monarch as "Mrs. Brown," giving John Madden's film its less than catchy title. Connolly and

noted stage actress Dench are forceful as the brash and stubborn Brown and his remote, disconsolate Queen, but the scene-stealer is Antony Sher, playing the notoriously manipulative but eloquent statesman Benjamin Disraeli. It's almost a shame to see such great performances in a film that will

never break out of its art-house niche: Madden does little dramatically or visually to distinguish the film from dozens of others stuck in the Masterpiece Theatre rut. Efforts to invigorate the story with court intrigue are transparent and unconvincing, while the drama at the center is

handled in what's now the stereotypically Merchant-Ivory mode of British self-restraint, a la THE REMAINS OF THE DAY.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: An intelligent story for the kilts-and-corsets crowd, about Queen Victoria's (Judi Dench) little-known relationship with gruff and willful Scottish servant John Brown (Billy Connolly). A trusted companion to her deceased husband, Brown is brought in to jo… (more)

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