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Monday, June 29, 2009

Hollywood Drama Movie - THE DUCHESS

Review : After PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and ATONEMENT, Keira Knightley continues her reign as the queen of the period film with this 18th-century costume drama. The corset-clad actress stars as Georgiana Spenser, the Duchess of Devonshire. With her marriage to the duke (Ralph Fiennes), Georgiana achieves an impressive level of fame as Britons follow both her clothing style and her political advice. But even celebrity and wealth can't act as a salve in her marriage to the boring, boorish duke. When he begins to flaunt his affairs, Georgiana is tempted to return to a teenage crush, Charles Grey (Dominic Cooper of THE HISTORY BOYS), to the anger of her husband and her mother (Charlotte Rampling, SWIMMING POOL). Fiennes's portrayal of the duke ranks roughly with his Lord Voldemort on a scale of beastly behavior, but the acclaimed actor manages to give him a level of humanity that far surpasses what he deserves. THE DUCHESS focuses on the lack of power possessed by Georgiana and, in fact, all women of her time, and the duke is the primary agent of her suppression. As she has done with other period films from the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN series to KING ARTHUR, Knightley brings spirit to the role, as well as a regal carriage that perfectly fits the detailed costumes by Michael O'Connor. Fans of history-based drama--Georgiana was real-life royalty who is found in the genealogy of Princess Diana--will find much to like in this film, which boasts impressive locations, lush costumes, and forbidden love
Synopsis : Director Saul Dibb takes the helm for this period drama adapted from Amanda Foreman's best-selling novel Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, documenting the romantic entanglements of Georgiana Cavendish (Keira Knightley), a beautiful and clever woman who becomes a celebrity of British high society when she marries the Duke of Devonshire (Ralph Fiennes) and becomes consort to one of the most powerful men in England. Beloved for her trend-setting fashion designs as well as her political activism, Georgiana's fire and wit make her a beloved figure everywhere but her own home, where her cold and distant husband's control over her is stifling, soon sending her into the arms of a another man -- an act that soon forces her to learn about the brutal difference in the rights afforded to 18th century men and women. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

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