Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?
The retelling of France's iconic but ill-fated queen, Marie Antoinette. From her betrothal and marriage to Louis XVI at 15 to her reign as queen at 19 and to the end of her reign as queen, and ultimately the fall of Versailles.
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
This is the second period film starring Keira Knightley that opens with the view of her walking across grass carrying something. In Pride & Prejudice (2005), she is walking across grass carrying a book. In this movie, she is carrying a hat with names for runners in a race. See more »
At the beginning of the film when Georgiana is talking with her mother about her engagement, the curl running down the back of Georgiana's neck disappears and reappears multiple times. See more »
[to Georgina at the dinner table after addressing the gathering]
It's always easier to address a congregation of friends... particularly when those friends are drunk.
See more »
Paramount Vantage preferred a PG-13 version for the United States and in order to get that rating some cuts and alternate shots were used. See more »
"The Duchess" tells the tale of the beautiful young Georgiana Spencer (Knightley) who, in the late 18th century, is married to the much older Duke of Devonshire (Fiennes) and attains wealth, status, and prestige, all at the price of being condemned to a loveless marriage. It's familiar ground: the duke is the typically phlegmatic English nobleman, unable to express or perhaps even experience emotions, while his wife is in every way his superior: in intellect, courage, self-reliance, devotion to children, etc.
Most of the story revolves around the inequality between men's and women's lives: the former openly flaunting their mistresses while the latter are forbidden such dalliances. Men don't come off very well in this movie: they beat their wives, threaten them with separation from their children, and treat their girls with utter indifference while a boy is the ultimate prize.
While the plot is not altogether scintillating, the acting more than makes up for it. Knightley is at her best, able to convey all the emotions the role requires. But the star of this movie is Fiennes, who in spite of playing a truly unlikeable character, manages to keep him from being utterly detestable. At the end, his humanity finally breaks through just a little bit, and one wishes the script would have allowed a few more glimmers at earlier points in the movie as well.
But even if one were to magically delete all dialogue from the film, and just watch it on the big screen with the soundtrack, it would be well worth it. The constant parade of fashions, primarily women's but also men's, is like a documentary of late 18th century clothing. Each scene seems to outdo the other. It's like walking through a museum full of Gainsborough and Reynolds portraits, and seeing each one come to life; wonderful! The stately mansions, the magnificent teams of horses, the sweeping vistas of gardens and sheep on the pastures, it's all England at its very finest. The soundtrack was beautiful, lush and romantic and very apropos. I particularly liked the inclusion of much period music which was intelligently (though not always accurately) paired with the era. Was Bach played in England in 1775? I rather doubt it, but still it fit nicely and sounded gorgeous.
Do see this on the big screen; don't wait for the DVD.
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