THE DUCHESS

     

 

THE DUCHESS (UK)
SHOWING MONDAY, JANUARY 19, 2009
7:00 pm Grand Reo Theatre, Vanderhoof
Rated 14A, 1 hour 15 minutes
Director: Saul Dibb, Actors: Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes,
Charlotte Rampling

The highly anticipated screen adaptation of Amanda Forman’s bestselling 1998 novel, Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire, arrives on screens this fall with United Kingdom A-listers Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes assuming the glamorous lead roles of Duke and Duchess.

Often called the predecessor to Lady Diana Spencer, Georgiana Spencer (Diana’s real-life great-great-great aunt) was the top political hostess and utmost fashion icon of her time. Struggling to be fulfilled in an arranged marriage to William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire, Georgiana became an extremely influential power-broker among the ruling elite, using her charisma and popularity to achieve her political goals while also using her position in the aristocracy to cater to her affinity for an extravagant and promiscuous lifestyle. Rumors of her infidelity, both real and imagined, buzzed through the halls of eighteenth-century nobility, but politicians still sought her opinion. After all, it was politically safer to be seen in the company of the most popular noble of the time than have others assume you simply weren’t invited to one of her parties. While truly the “It” girl of eighteenth-century England, the hedonistic Spencer’s life was quietly beset by strife and controversy. Recreational drug use, eating disorders and a fierce gambling addiction pursued her until her death in 1806 at the age of forty-nine. The film adaptation brings Forman’s controversial biography to life in all its vividness. A huge production with a stellar cast and costumes so lavish that “the Empress of Fashion herself” would have haughtily approved, make The Duchess a promising hopeful for Academy Award® recognition for 2008.

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The costumes and actor performances are worth admission. Most reviews called Knightley and Fiennes' performances excellent. The story on the other hand is a different story. Some reviewers thought it was a wonderful story full of drama and betrayal. Other reviewers said that the movie didn't have much to say or add to the story of the Duchess.

Still the film has an oscar buzz, so put it on the calendar as a must-see film.

Reviews reviewed for the Reel Review were from these sites:

Rotten Tomatoes Reviews