On DVD this week from director Julian Jarrold and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes the sharing of Mother’s Day with V.E. Day and the release of “A Royal Night Out.”
It is V.E. Day in 1945 and Europe is being celebrated by all! That is except for Princess Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) and Princess Margaret (Bel Powley) living in Buckingham Palace. On the night their father the King (Rupert Everett) is to deliver a speech, the girls want to go out into the world.
Their mother the Queen (Emily Watson) can’t believe what she is hearing. The King wants the girls to be with him when the speech is made, but thinks it’s the one time he understands their need to get out. Since the Queen is being out flanked, she calls in Lt. Pryce (Jack Laskey) and Lt. Burridge (Jack Gordon) to be the girls escort.
This doesn’t sit well with the girls since they had plans to crash a party at the Chelsea Barracks but will take any outing they can get. Elizabeth is the responsible sister and it takes all of two seconds before Margaret not only goes her own way but sends her sister on a wild chase to find her.
The most unlikely of heroes finds Elizabeth, Jack Hodges (Jack Reynor) is on the streets celebrating V.E. day but has a chip on his shoulder about it all. Of course he doesn’t realize that he’s begrudgingly helping a Princess!
The night is young and so are they but when your father is a King things can get tricky!
Gadon as Princess Elizabeth is so beautiful, smart and charming with a touch of elegance I would expect of someone playing the role of the future Queen of England. The costuming and hair just gives Gadon the weaponry she needed to bring this role to life. So very well done in every aspect.
Powley as Princess Margaret is a handful from the word go! She is a little goofy, very trusting and doesn’t know trouble when it’s staring her in the face. Not only did Powley make me laugh a lot but worry for her just as much as Elizabeth!
Rupert as the King is quietly endearing and touches once again on the speech troubles of King George VI but not in a large way. Instead, Rupert gives us a look at his role as a father of two young girls. I really enjoyed his performance, especially when he meets Jack.
Watson as the Queen is every bit as uptight as I would think a Queen would be. She is stern and smart until she is outsmarted a bit by her daughters. Laskey as Lt. Pryce and Gordon as Lt. Burridge are both hilarious. When chaperoning the Princesses goes bottoms up, what are two soldiers to do?
Two stand out characters are Roger Allam as Stan the friendly off-the-beaten-path club owner who takes P-2 (as he calls her) under his wing. Finally, Ruth Sheene as Jack’s Mom, I have to give a shout out to sweet Moms and Sheene is so cute.
Other cast includes: Mark Hadfield as Mickey, Geoffrey Streatfeild as Jeffers, Annabel Leventon as Lady MacCloud, Debra Penny as Clippie and Ruth Sheene as Jack’s Mom.
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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “A Royal Night Out” four tubs of popcorn out of five. I am so pleasantly surprised by this film because of how absolutely charming it is. Not only is the storyline fun but being a period piece adds so much to the telling. This is exactly the type of film that I would enjoy watching with my family.
The costuming is quite breathtaking from the gowns of the Princess’ to the uniforms. I notice those things in particular because if you want to whisk me away to a certain time in a story, get those two things right and I’m all in. That is the case with “A Royal Night Out”.
I also love this cast! There isn’t a character out of place as I continually smiles, laughed and awww’d my way through the film. The film is inspired by a true story but takes a little fictional leeway that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. If anything it is fun thinking of what might be true about that night in 1945.
Break out the popcorn and tiaras for a night of country, family, sisters and new friends with “A Royal Night Out” on DVD.
In the end — it isn’t easy being the future Queen of England!