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Genres are RomanceDramaHist Produced in 2008, UK, Italy, France
Available Quality: DivX, iPod
Rating: 6.9 out of 10 (24944 votes)
|Richard McCabe||John Shrapnel||Ralph Fiennes||Simon McBurney|
|Keira Knightley||Justin Edwards||Michael Medwin|
At the age of 17, Georgiana Spencer is married to the Duke of Devonshire. She soon realizes that hers is to be a loveless marriage and her only purpose in the arrangement is to provide her husband with a male heir. She hasnt much good fortune on that front, producing two daughters and having several miscarriages as well and it is many years before she succeeds. What relationship she does have with her husband breaks down completely when he begins what proves to be a lifelong affair with her best friend, Bess Foster. She does make a life for herself, becoming quite active in politics and the fashion icon of her day.
19 May 2013
This review is from: The Duchess (Amazon Instant Video) If you like Pride & Prejudice this is another great watch. I definitely would see it again. Kiera does a great job.
19 May 2013
I'm so sorry I could't play this DVD. You sent me a "region code 1" item. In Holland we just can play a "region code 2" one.Regards F.F.Blok
19 May 2013
Feeling Trapped in her costume
I went to an independent theater to check out this film, which I assumed I would enjoy as it had Keira Knightley and she was really great in Pride and Prejudice and Love Actually. We find Keira's character much like Kirsten Dunst in Marie Antoinette. She is married off and becomes a duchess. She is considered the princess Di of her time, she has timeless elegance and fashion and everyone wants to be her. It sounds like a dream come true right? When her first child turns out to be a girl, she tries again. Her husband begins to get frustrated assuming that he had chosen a healthy wife and why she couldnt bear him a male heir was just beyond words. Lets just assume that he doesnt realize it is indeed his fault he cannot produce a male heir, but men of this time hadnt realized the chromosome game yet. He does what any male would do in this situation, begins to have an affair. When she falls in love with someone else and tries to do the same, he threatens to take her children away and dethrone her in a way that would be humiliating. Think Demi Moore in the scarlett letter. They did a great job on the costumes, and the acting was great, but the depressing story behind this real life story makes you want to cry for everything that happens to her.
18 May 2013
This review is from: The Duchess (DVD) I love period movies and buy almost everything I can in this genre; the movie is interesting and I enjoyed watching it; however, it's depressing and quite a downer, has a married rape scene and some other difficult scenes so not the excellence you'd find in Jane Austen movies (BBC collection or Keira Knightley in Pride & Predjudice for example). Not sure I will ever watch again so not sure it was worth buying.
13 May 2013
How Many ways Can I say Poor Duchess
"The Duchess" hits you over the head with it's conceit. All the beauty is so gray; the director pounces on you, that this isn't your usual costume tragedy. Violence, ignorance, lust is and so forth must follow. With a interesting script, perspective, good acting, some chemistry I might have liked this movie. I believe it had none of these things. Obviously this viewer did not see much to recommend it. Rubbish is how I would describe it; but I also think that shows more feeling than this production deserves.
13 May 2013
The book is much better.
Having read the book that this film is based upon my expectations werehigh although I thought that the short running time could not possiblydo justice to the 450 pages of the book, and I was not wrong. It barelyskimmed the massive detail contained in the book and was a big let downfor me. It was beautifully made with seemingly no expense spared oncostumes or locations but to give one example no mention was made ofthe huge gambling debts run up by the Duchess, which was of course amajor problem for her. The author of the book must have been severelydisappointed as after seeing this poor film few would want to read herexcellent book assuming it to be as bad as the film.
07 May 2013
wonderfully put together film with great actors, very informative and interesting. romantic and historical, i suggest anyone who hasnt seen it, to watch it !
I had been meaning to watch this film for a while, but i just never gotround to it until i found out my Nan had had it in her film cu boardall along... Overall, i thoroughly enjoyed this film.... i thought itwas really interesting and i loved the cast, i thought the actorsfitted the characters were perfect for their roles...Although KeiraKnightley is not my favourite actress, (dont get me wrong, she isfantastic) but Ralph Fiennes stood out, i hadn't seen him in allot offilms before, but once i started getting interested more and more infilm and the really memorable films in the industry e.g. Schindler'slist. his name just kept popping up and up more and more, he is such agreat actor as is his brother Joseph and during 'The Duchess'... Ralphreally was fantastic, because as the film went on and you saw whatreally happened in that time period of the 18th century and the way ischaracter is represented makes you realise how horrible men could/canbe, he made his character have many sides though, and underneath allthe anger and power that the duke has in the film, he is just a softythat is miserable and wants people to get off his back about things.this film has taught me a lot, how the fashion was, the politics andhow the government was run, but most of all how badly women weretreated and how selfish parents were back then, all because of moneyand rank. But as i said before, wonderful film, i will definitely bewatching it again.
07 May 2013
Bark Like A Dog!
Step aside, all you bimbo models and psychiatrically impossible actresses--meet the former '5th' Duchess of Devonshire during her heyday. Some 15 years after marrying the Duke of Devonshire to serve as breeding stock, the Duchess, Georgianna (the ever-annoying Keira Knightley) stood aside for her husband's mistress. But in the glory days, the 5th Duchess was a politically active, beautiful, bulimic, drug-addicted periodical/tabloid legend.She was a fashion designer who is said to have simplified the gentry's clothing (consult Emma Thompson's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE). She took a strong hand in the apparently liberal Whig Party, even helping catapult Charles Grey to Prime Minister (and having a daughter with him in the bargain).I cannot pretend to know a great deal about these folk. I know from the wonderful DVD extras that the former Duchess wrote a memoir/biography, and the producers dug deeply into her private correspondence, to execute a wonderful film.This is a terrific treat for those who yearn to know about 18th century British high aristocracy and their pettifogging ways. The Duke of Devonshire (Ralph Fiennes) seems a loathsome creature, yet he is actually the real-life forerunner of Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy. He wants a son, an heir, so the little Georgianna will do as well as anyone.This is a delicately told, yet straightforward, story. The atmosphere is incomparable, and my understanding is the film crew went to the places the former Duchess walked and lived. What a show! Though I think the camera is busy teaching us a lesson by lingering too much on Knightley (WHY do they always do that with her??), it is fair to all the others.It is a rich, enterprising undertaking to tell us about a poor young girl who was, after all, a victim of circumstances as much as all the others around her. It tells of political intrigues, conquests, seductions that even carry over to the Duke's mistress seducing the young Duchess. Amazing, the values these people had (and didn't have).In the end, let the former Duchess be a lesson to those such as Fergie, former Duchess of York--who recently visited my area--and others of that ilk. And get this beautiful film, gross romantic scenes notwithstanding. It is an excellent history lesson and with relatively little editing should be shown in schools.
06 May 2013
Beautiful veneer on a sad life
Georgina (Knightley) is not yet 18 when she becomes the Duchess of Devonshire. Her mother assured Georgina that the Duke loved her. The Duke (Ralph Fiennes) is a chilly man whose only interest in Georgina is as a broodmare. The Duke's disappointment becomes quite obvious when Georgina cannot produce a live son. Despite that, she's labeled as 'The Empress of Fashion' and she's the unofficial Queen of the Court. As they say, the Duke of Devonshire is the only man in England not in love with his wife.This film shows the deplorable conditions for women. For example, Lady Elizabeth Foster (Hayley Atwell) is being beaten by her husband. It's legal for her husband to beat her as long as the stick is not any bigger than his thumb. It's also legal for her lord husband to take away his wife's children for no apparent reason at all. The Duke's treatment of Georgina is no less appalling. "The Duchess" is a gorgeously costumed and appointed film. It's eye candy for costume epic fans, although it is painful to see such a lovely woman in an unforgivably unhappy marriage.Rebecca Kyle, December 2008
06 May 2013
All That Glitters...
The Duchess is a lush and lovely portrait of the queen of late eighteenth century English society, Georgiana, daughter of Earl Spencer and wife of the Duke of Devonshire. She was a great beauty celebrated in paint by Reynolds and Gainsborough, a friend of the Whig political leader Charles Fox, the playwright/politician Sheridan and the witty and irascible lexicographer Dr. Johnson. She was also the lover of a future Prime Minister, Earl Grey, whose family cared for their illegitimate daughter.The movie, based on a best-selling novel, focuses on Georgiana's troubled marriage that included a twenty-year menage a trois involving her best friend, Lady Elizabeth Foster whom the Duke married after Georgiana's death. Some will draw comparisons with Prince Charles, Diana (coincidentally a member of the same Spencer family) and Camilla Parker Bowles.The acting is superb, especially Ralph Fiennes as the cold-hearted but oddly endearing Duke, Keira Knightley as the beautiful, bright, alcohol and gambling addicted Georgiana, Charlotte Rampling as Georgiana's aristocratic, sensible, worldly-wise but sympathetic mum and Dominic Cooper as the up-and-coming politico, Charles Grey. The story is compelling, the direction well-paced, the period detail -- costumes, furnishings, manor-houses and gardens, art, music and other entertainment of the era -- authentic in its elegance and splendor. There is hardly a glimpse of the great mass of humanity unless clothed in servants' livery, cheering plays and political speeches, or running alongside the Duke's coach. There is, however, an ominous inkling of revolutionary change in far off America and nearby France.There is also reference to an elusive concept of "freedom" with the implication that the Duke and Duchess are "prisoners" in a gilded cage. Perhaps, but one wonders if these people would have been happier had they been poor.
05 May 2013
A good story beautifully filmed and with fine performances - especially from Keira Knightly.
I came away from the cinema after seeing The Duchess feeling I had hadmy consciousness of what life must have been like for the aristocracyof 18th century England dramatically raised (both literally andmetaphorically). The story of Georgiana's marriage unfolds by subtledegrees amidst the most sumptuous of interiors and landscaped gardens -all beautifully filmed and realistically recreated. Apart from the maincharacters, there appear a rich selection of characters fromneighbouring strata of society - aristocrats, political activists,servants and children (as babies and older) both legitimate andillegitimate - all of whom contribute to weaving the screenplay into animmensely fascinating narrative. I was already a fan of both KeiraKnightly and Ralph Fiennes before seeing The Duchess, so I was pleasedto find that their performances were well up to - and in the case of MsKnightly even surpassing - my expectations. Even those who aren'tnormally 'into' period dramas (like me) should, I feel sure, find muchto appreciate in this excellent film.
04 May 2013
Great portrayal of history, in my opinion
This movie wasn't the most interesting movie I have ever seen, but it was very well done and worth the time to watch. The acting, costumes, story line and everything was great. I just felt trapped with the main character and wish there would have been some way to live happily then. I think that was one of the points of the movie, to show how women used to be treated. I highly recommend this movie to any who like historical dramas and women's issues in society.
04 May 2013
A Gripping Drama
I went into The Duchess with low expectations; in fact, I don't think I would have rented the film if it hadn't been my only choice. I mean, another period British drama starring Keira Knightley! However, this film grabbed me almost from the start and didn't let go until the very end. I think what made this movie so engrossing for me was the fact that it's based on a real person who is remembered 200 years later and was a relative of Princess Diana. It's almost eerie how Princess Diana's life so easily mimicked that of her ancestor, Georgiana Spencer: from the marriage that started out hopeful and became loveless, the husband's affairs, and the need to produce an heir.What this film also highlights is the plight of women in Georgiana Spencer's time. The husbands were free to conduct affairs and create bastard children, but their wives could be beaten and have their children taken away at the whim of their husbands. One of the most awful points in this film is when Georgiana confronts her husband about his affair with a woman he allows to live with them and demands to have her own lover. What follows is most gut-wrenching rape in a film I've seen in a long time. All the more gut-wrenching because you don't actually see the rape occurring; all you hear are Georgiana's screams as they echo throughout the house. Ironically, it's this incident that leads to the birth of the Duke's much-wanted, much-needed, heir.I'm normally not a Keira Knightley fan, but she was simply wonderful in this role. She truly becomes Georgiana Spencer. There are several scenes that stand out for me: her hurt she feels when the Duke requires that she take care of his illegitimate daughter, whom she comes to love as her own; the anger and hurt displays when her husband's affair with Bess is discovered and Georgiana realizes she has no control over her life and household; and most especially when Georgiana must give up her own illegitimate daughter, which shows Knightley's full talent as an actress.The Duchess is an excellent film and one I'm glad I took a chance on.
03 May 2013
This review is from: The Duchess (Amazon Instant Video) I really enjoyed this movie. Thought the actors and scenery were superb. I will probably watch it several times during the cold winter months.
29 April 2013
This review is from: The Duchess (Amazon Instant Video) Great cast, good plot, based on a historic person. Overall - great movie, quality product. Highly recommend. Unveils life of 18th century aristocracy, lack of personal freedom, especially for women and tragedies as consequences.
28 April 2013
Duchess Needs More Duking Out 12
Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes star in this period peace depictingthe superiority of the male, who it is shown can immerse himself withother women openly but yet find it revolting when his wife basicallydoes the same thing.No doubt about it. Ralph Fiennes is getting older. This is more of asupporting role for him, as evidenced by his supporting nomination fora Golden Globe award in the drama category. In the scenes that he isin, Fiennes is engaging. He still has that mean stare after all theseyears. Cold, calculated, brooding are the best words to describe hisperformance here.The picture is uneven at points where Knightley's mother rallies to thesupport of the Duke of Devonshire (Fiennes). I guess that's just thesubordinate instinct that women felt in the 18th century that thewriter was trying to depict. Another total about face is by the Duke'sown lover in support of the Duchess when she has her illegitimate sonby a rising politician who promises change. Sounds familiar, doesn'tit?
19 April 2013
This review is from: The Duchess [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray) I love everything she has done. She has another movie coming out in this era and can't wait to see it.
19 April 2013
Epic Period Film with Excellent Acting
For those who enjoy epic period films with gorgeous costumes, original and beautiful set designs, and excellent acting to boot, then "The Duchess" is a movie you should not miss. Set in England during the French and American Revolutions and the English Enlightenment, these events provide a formative backdrop to the movie's primary plot. Based on Amanda Foreman's award winning biography, "Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire," the film documents the tragic story of the beautiful, intelligent, strong-willed aristocrat who formed a popular "salon," which included the brightest literary & political figures of her day. She was also an active political campaigner for the Whig Party at a time when women's suffrage was well over a century away. Born Georgiana Spencer, the Duchess was an ancestor of the late Princess Diana, who was born Diana Spencer. Althorpe was the ancestral home of both women. At age sixteen, Georgiana married the much older William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire, in 1774. Awed by her new husband, the romantic teen bride had high hopes that her arranged marriage would succeed...or at least provide an amiable relationship. Unfortunately, she couldn't have been more wrong. The aloof, emotionally cold, coarse Duke was a notorious womanizer who wanted a male heir from his Duchess and nothing else. Cavendish did love his dogs, however. Bah!! He became more and more aloof and abusive to his young wife as she provided him with daughter after daughter and two stillborn sons. She even took in his illegitimate daughter and raised her as her own to gain his favor and some kindness, to no avail. Her best and only real friend, Bess, Lady Elizabeth Foster, (Hayley Atwell), betrays her, and Georgiana's home life becomes more and more like a prison with herself the only inmate. She does find love outside her marriage, but this forbidden relationship is soon nipped in the bud as the Duke threatens his wife with dire consequences if she continues the affair. Filled with illicit romance, betrayal, real historical events and characters, along with impeccable acting from Keira Knightly as Georgiana, Ralph Fiennes in an extremely strong & complex performance as Devonshire, and Charlotte Rampling as Georgiana's mother, I found this film to be highly entertaining and educational. I also love English history which added to my enjoyment.Jana Perskie
11 April 2013
This review is from: The Duchess [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray) If you haven't read the book you will be amazed by the movie. I'm not sure I think it's fair for book readers to bash this wonderful movie...ITS A MOVIE...It is BACED on a true story! The movie is have beautiful costumes, amazing acting, sad and happy parts, it is in every way a Drama and if you like dramas this is a good pick
10 April 2013
Georgiana Spencer Cavendish, the wife of the fifth Duke of Devonshire, was one of the great fascinating beauties of the late 18th century, and thus was a national celebrity; that doesn't mean her life makes for much of a great film. Fascination is a notoriously difficult thing to reproduce on the screen, and though Kiera Knightley who here plays Georgiana is undoubtedly beautiful she's not someone who projects tremendous charisma or wit very naturally. The movie wants us to feel sorry for Georgiana because her husband (Ralph Fiennes) kept demanding she produce him a male heir (which she eventually did) and because he cheated on her with her best friend in some sort of sophisticated arrangement that allows her to couple more or less openly with Lord Grey (Dominic Cooper); it's hard to feel sorry for her since she's dripping in diamonds and gigantic wigs (each more spectacular than the next) and because the Duke keeps her in splendid palace after splendid palace. No one distinguishes herself or himself very much in this somewhat moribund period piece, and Ralph Fiennes doesn't have much to do as the dull Duke. Dominic Cooper, said himself to be quite a fascinator on the stage, yet again shows himself unable to generate much spark on the screen. There's little to watch here but the wigs and the gowns.