The Duchess (2008)

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Georgiana Spencer became Duchess of Devonshire on her marriage to the Duke in 1774, at the height of the Georgian period, a period of fashion, decadence, and political change. Spirited and adored by the public at large she quickly found her marriage to be a disappointment, defined by her duty to produce a male heir and the Duke's philandering and callous indifference to her. She befriends Lady Bess but finds she is once again betrayed by her husband who wields his power with the three eventually living uncomfortably together. Against this background, and with the pressures of an unfaithful husband, strict social pressures and constant public scrutiny, Georgiana falls passionately in love with Charles Grey, a rising young Whig politician. However, despite his ongoing liaison with Lady Bess, the Duke refuses to allow her to continue the affair and threatens to take her children from her.
Keira Knightley as Georgiana
Ralph Fiennes as The Duke
Charlotte Rampling as Lady Spencer
Dominic Cooper as Charles Grey
Hayley Atwell as Bess Foster
Simon McBurney as Charles Fox
Aidan McArdle as Richard Sheridan
John Shrapnel as General Grey
Alistair Petrie as Heaton
Patrick Godfrey as Dr. Neville
Michael Medwin as Speechmaker
Justin Edwards as Macaroni
Richard McCabe as Sir James Hare
Calvin Dean as Devonshire House Servant
Hannah Stokely as Devonshire House Maid
Full cast
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The Duchess 1080p
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9561 Mb
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dts, eng
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Video Size
1920x816 px
File Size
9561 Mb
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Video Bitrate
12149 Kbps
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The Duchess is a fascinating look at the lifestyles of the rich and famous and royalty of late 18th century England. According to the movie, the duchess was the toast of England, influential in politics and imposing fashion. The recreation of the era, from the clothes to the wigs, was outstanding. "Everybody has a lover!" is one line in the movie that makes you wonder if much has changed in 225 years.


If you log on to the movie's official web site, click on 'costumes' for detailed looks at some of the outfits. The credits at the end had a long list of costumers and wig makers. Amazing. Sets very nice - a number of historic homes were filmed for the movie. I plan to read the book on which this movie was based; it was published about ten years ago. This is great if you are a British history buff or for anyone who loves period films.


What a missed opportunity to tell the story of an intriguing and powerful woman! Instead of a balanced, well-rounded interesting picture, all we get is 2 hours of Ms. Knightly's collagen lips and vacant eyes. She represents the Duchess of Devonshire as a skinny, whiny victim, which she most certainly was not. She was a consummate politician of her age who moved in the highest circles of British government, as well as an intimate friend of the Prince of Wales and Prime Ministers. She also had feet of clay in the form of an addiction to gambling and the consequent crippling debts. None of this was in the pathetic movie. And there is no evidence her hair was ever on fire -- why was it deemed necessary to add this silly device (among others)? Don't waste your money if you like quality films!


Very good cinematography. The acting was good overall


Good: Kiera Knightley and Ralph Fiennes, along with the supporting actors, give excellent performances. Also, from what I know of the period, the film was pretty accurate. I loved that, for example, Georgiana was initially happy to learn of her engagement to the duke, unlike the cliched stories where women anachronistically protest against arranged marriages. Also, the costumes were gorgeous. So/so: I know it's based on a true story, but the film is just one horrible thing after another happening to this woman. I won't say too much, but the duchess never gets a break. When something good does happen to her, it gets snatched away by her nasty husband. Granted, this is realistic, which is one of the film's strengths - but it left me feeling depressed and outraged. The humor present near the beginning soon dies in favor of one very bleak picture. A Jane Austen film this is not, so if that is what you are looking for, don't go. Otherwise powerful even if it is bleak.

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