(2008)

Critic Reviews

62

Metascore

Based on 34 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
88
This is not one of those delightful movies based on a Jane Austen novel. It is about hard realists, constrained in a stifling system and using whatever weapons they can command.
75
Fiennes speaks with his body what the script cannot formulate about what it's like to be a man apart. The actor creates particulars of time, space, class, and personality with one crook of a finger, one twist of a wrist. I call that nobility of craft; he's the actors' prince.
75
It's Knightley who makes The Duchess a royal treat.
75
It tells the amazing, but mostly true, story of a late-18th century aristocrat who made an indelible mark on English society akin to that of her direct descendant, Lady Diana.
75
Princess Diana's antecedent, both genetically and figuratively, was a beautiful and glamorous duchess named Georgiana Spencer. Like her descendant, her charm and vivacity captivated England.
75
While I much liked The Duchess, this portrait feels unfinished.
75
perfectly serviceable costume drama.
70
The Hollywood Reporter
Keira Knightley is a terrific choice to play the 18th century socialite.
60
A rousing period drama with all the familiar trimmings: gorgeous costumes, palatial settings and romantic intrigue.
60
Director Saul Dibb, presumably knowing that this is pretty standard stuff for a costume epic, occupies us not just with the usual visuals -- of his star drifting through exquisitely furnished estates, draped in rich silks and brocades -- but also with some intriguingly offbeat sights.
40
Instead of scintillation, the movie gives us a succession of discrete set pieces, as if the action takes place in rooms but not in the halls connecting them.

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