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The Duchess

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The Duchess

Saul Dibb (2008)

105min
12 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Much has been made of the parallels between the lives of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (1757-1806), and her descendant Lady Diana, Princess of Wales. Both were young newlyweds when they entered high society, and both were required to please a devoted public and a cheating husband. Thankfully, this historical drama is not a frivolous adaptation of the bestselling biography by Amanda Foreman, and Keira Knightley - as well as having the air of an English rose - displays great dignity in portraying Georgiana's frustration with her lot. Still, it's disappointing that Saul Dibb (who directed Bullet Boy) only skims the surface of the lady's political life. This movie is a study of a conventional romantic heroine and the intrigues that compromised her marriage, rather than an examination of a woman whose radical views encouraged her to actively campaign for the government opposition (and led to an affair with future Prime Minister Charles Grey). Unfortunately, this approach also results in Ralph Fiennes, as her philandering husband, coming across as something of a pantomime villain.

Summary

Fact-based period drama, chronicling the life of Georgiana Spencer who became Duchess of Devonshire in 1774 at the age of 17. Adored by the public for her extravagant lifestyle, Spencer endured a troubled marriage and was eventually driven into the arms of Charles Grey, a senior Whig politician. Starring Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Dominic Cooper and Charlotte Rampling.

Cast & Crew

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire Keira Knightley
Duke of Devonshire Ralph Fiennes
Bess Hayley Atwell
Lady Spencer Charlotte Rampling
Charles Grey Dominic Cooper
Charles James Fox Simon McBurney
Richard Brinsley Sheridan Aidan McArdle
Director Saul Dibb
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Other Information

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: Pathé Guidance: Sex scenes, brief nudity Available on: Available on DVD and BluRay Released on: 5 Sep 2008

Drama

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