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Review of The Duchess

January 3, 2013

I love a good period drama and The Duchess is just that. Kiera Knightley, the ‘queen of period drama’, plays the grand Duchess of Devonshire, a title gained after her marriage to the Duke of Devonshire played by Ralph Fiennes. Married life does not work out as Georgiana (Knightley) thought it would, especially after she has daughters, not the wanted son and heir. Both William (Fiennes) and Georgiana have affairs, one of which ends badly after which they both have to work out how to live within their marriage.

Rlaph Fiennes is great as the character he plays. He appears to be a grumpy man, interested only in his dogs, sex and a male heir. However, as we go further into the film, we subtly see his real character and why he is the way he is and how he feels.

Georgiana, a woman famous for her fashion, would be expected to have extravagant costumes in the film and she does, her hats being the most exceptional. The houses in which the film is set are equally incredible, there seems to be a lot of attention to detail.

There are two reasons why I really liked this period drama, more so than the others, which could be considered the ‘classics’ like Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. The first is that it is modeled upon the real Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire who led a very intriguing life. The second is that it cannot be seen to be romanticised. I am not saying that romantics won’t enjoy it, but it is a nice change.

If you enjoy period dramas, you should see The Duchess, it is a great film that will pull at your emotions in many ways.


From → Book Reviews

  1. paul permalink

    I really enjoyed the Duchess as well, the quote I remember is “The Duke is the only man in the country not in love with his wife” or something similar. Another favourite of mine which is in that sort of area is Mrs Brown, which stars Judy Dench and Billy Connolly. I have no idea how factually accurate it is but it’s a great film.

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