That A-Ha Moment

This scene from the film The Young Victoria, in the context of the film, just floored me. Queen Victoria and Albert (not yet the prince) share both their first dance together, and the first dance of Victoria as Queen. With everyone watching, the two not-yet-lovers have a great shared moment that seems intimate in a world without privacy.

The music carries the emotion perfectly, stalling as two lovers connect in a realization of their love for each other. Never doubt the power of sound to carry the heart of any film. The music gives way and time seems to stop, as we all must when confronted with the moment when someone takes your breath away.

The performances at that moment have a subtle stumbling quality to them, yet because we never cut to anyone’s reaction outside of the pair, despite knowing they are always being watched and judged, they are allowed to secretly share this brief moment. The moment where Victoria missteps and looks down made the whole film for me.

Within that moment, the cutting is quick, but always on them, very close with a long lens, keeping everyone else out. The cutting repeats the simple action of switching hand positions, something often used in action sequences to give an understanding of context by extending time so we can see where things are in relation to each other, but here, it works to extend time for the emotional beat.