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The Duchess [Blu-ray] [Blu-ray] (2008)

 Unrated   Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 13.99
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Product Description

Swaddled in whalebone and wigs, Keira Knightley steps into the restricted world of the Duchess of Devonshire, a royal lady popular with her subjects but stuck in an unhappy marriage. If this situation recalls Princess Diana (a descendent of the Duchess's family), so much the better for the purposes of director Saul Dibb and company; this film is eager to draw parallels with the unfortunate Lady Di, even if she is never directly mentioned. Knightley's unsuspecting girl is married off to the Duke (Ralph Fiennes), a distracted jerk who craves sons, and obviously has never thought of women as anything other than a means to achieve an heir. When the Duchess launches her procreative career with a couple of daughters, well, the Duke begins to get nervous--and partners outside the marriage become increasingly appealing. The Duchess serves up lavish portions of Brit-movie staples: costumes (which, in Knightley's case, are nothing short of spectacular), landscapes, and gorgeous music (by Rachel Portman). If it falls short in some vague way, perhaps it's because the film is a mostly one-note affair, meaning exactly what it seems to mean at every moment. Charlotte Rampling appears too briefly as Knightley's mother, and Dominic Cooper and Hayley Atwell (from Brideshead Revisited), rising stars both, contribute attractive lures for the principals. They prove the old movie adage: there's a lot to be said for eye candy. --Robert Horton

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Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lavish costume drama April 2 2009
By Kona TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
The year is 1774, and 17-year old Georgiana hopes her marriage to the much older Duke of Devonshire will be a love match. Sadly, he's cold and distant and has a series of paramours, one of whom moves right into the family home with them.

Based on a true story, the movie highlights many events in Georgiana's that would later be repeated by her descendant, Princess Diana; Georgiana's husband was uninterested in her, cared only for an heir, and carried on an affair that lasted for 25 years. Also like Diana, Georgiana was the most important fashionista of her day, loved by the people, and the darling of the London gossip columnists.

Keira Knightly is perfect as the doomed Duchess; she gives a sensitive performance as Georgiana grows from spunky girl to political hostess to submissive wife. Ralph Fiennes plays the odious Duke masterfully. The exquisite costumes won an Academy Award and the grand English homes (including Chatsworth House where Georgiana lived with the Duke) are breathtaking. The atmospheric photography features golden candlelight and natural sunlight. This is everything a period drama should be - a riveting true story that's lovely to look at with flawless acting. Highly recommended.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let's give them something to talk about, Dec 18 2008
By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Lady Spencer: All of London is talking.
Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire: Oh, let them talk!

Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):

1. An arranged marriage to the older and wealthy Duke of Devonshire (Ralph Fiennes) made young Georgiana (Keira Knightley) a Duchess.
2. Unfortunately, the Duke was a man of few words, and the job description for his wife included only three tasks - bear heir; look pretty; no talking.
3. This did not sit well with the vivacious, articulate and charismatic Duchess, whose baby switch seemed set on pink instead of blue, and who had a natural flair for partying and politics
4. Soon the Duke starts triangulating the relationship, and the Duchess retaliates with a bit of Earl Grey.
5. Everyone lives scandalously ever after

Excellent acting performances are given by Fiennes and Knightley, as well as by the always impressive Charlotte Rampling (Lady Spencer, mother of Georgiana), Dominic Cooper (Earl Grey, also from Mamma Mia!) and Hayley Atwell (Bess Foster, really close friend of the Duke and Duchess)

The costumes and settings are breathtaking, and although somewhat lacking in depth, this movie adaptation of the life of Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire does not disappoint as pure entertainment.

Amanda Richards
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great March 18 2011
By caseygirl TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a good story and hard to believe that it is based on truth. Acting is good and if you like period drama I would recommend it. It's odd that The Duchess was directly related to Princess Diana and to see the similararities of their lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Duchess March 29 2009
By Eddie Nguyen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Gorgeous costuming...wonderful story. Now this is the way to learn about history that is fun & intriguing.
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