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The Duchess (2008)

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A chronicle of the life of 18th century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who was reviled for her extravagant political and personal life.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Speechmaker
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Calvin Dean ...
Devonshire House Servant
Hannah Stokely ...
Devonshire House Maid
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Storyline

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. Written by johnno.r[at]xtra.co.nz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Based On The Incredible True Story See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, brief nudity and thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

10 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La duquesa  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

£13,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,402,200 (UK) (5 September 2008)

Gross:

$13,823,741 (USA) (5 December 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Model Lucy Elgee-Taylor appeared in the background of the scene in the town square See more »

Goofs

In the last scene with the kids running around the fountain. Fountains have been created for hundreds of years running on gravity, not electricity. For example, the Trevi fountain in Rome was completed in 1762, and the Emperor Fountain at Chatsworth was completed by Joseph Paxton in 1844. See more »

Quotes

Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire: [to a crowd of her adoring public at Bath regaled with a large plume on her hat] We come away to Bath to get away from London, and all of London has come away to Bath.
[laughter from the audience]
Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire: Somebody did indeed ask me what kind of feather it is I'm wearing. Well, there are only two specimins of this rare bird known to man. One of them has clearly ended up on top of my head, and the other - rumor has it he's running for office in the Tory Party.
[More laughter]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in About a Boy: About Total Exuberance (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Menuetto from String Quartet No. 12 in B Flat Major
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A great period piece, Kiera pulls in a fantastic performance
12 November 2008 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

I couldn't wait for The Duchess, I am just a huge fan of period pieces and Kiera Knightly is becoming a fantastic actress in this genre. I was looking forward to this film mainly because I studied Georgina a little bit in college for my history class and I always thought she was such an elegant and strong woman that stood out from the others. She was like the Madonna of her day, she had a great sense of style, self, and strength. While the movie is not completely accurate, it still was a fine movie to watch. Kiera truly held her own as Georgina and was absolutely stunning. One of the underlining stories that I appreciate in this film is the battle of the sexes. Ralph Fiennes who plays the Duke of Devonshire does a fantastic job as well and he plays this anti-villain, shows the true side of the pain and pressure men felt but how they looked at women as nothing but property. This story truly touches you and makes you grateful for our present day.

Georgina is born into a high class family of royalty who is about to be married off to the Duke of Devonshire and everything seems great, G is going to live the high life of class, culture, and being a lady of the people. She comes across the price though: her husband's affairs that are practically rubbed in her face, her life is constantly watched and judged by people, she must be perfect at all times to keep up her reputation as a joyful lady, she is forced to be the mother of the duke's child from an affair he had, as well as she cannot birth a son for the Duke and he will find every opportunity to rub it in her face. All this and Georgina has found another love who she cannot give her heart to fully for the love of her children and people.

The Duchess is a fine film that I truly enjoyed. I wouldn't be surprised if Kiera was nominated for best actress during the academy season. I would highly recommend this movie, especially for the period piece lovers. Like I said, this film makes you appreciate what we have today in our modern society and truly makes you feel for the pressures both men and women had to face in that day. Georgina is a figure that I think is very looked over in history when she is one of the strongest presences in England's history. The Duchess, even though not entirely accurate, does a very good job of telling her story and was a pleasure to watch.

8/10


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