1/19/09

The Duchess

The strange relationship of the fifth Duchess of Devonshire, her husband and the Lady 'Bess' Foster has fascinated historians for decades, and there have been at least three major biographies written on their relationship in the last twenty years. Even on her own though the Duchess would have been a fascinating character.

This wonderful movie tells the story of the marriage with three people in it, and her growth as a person, in a compelling and sympathetic way. It is positively sumptuous to look at from the locations, through the amazing costumes and all the way to the spectacularly tall hair! If you love to see England, then you'll enjoy this movie as much as the Hubster did, the scenery is beautiful and features some famous English landmarks.

The lead actors were well chosen; Keira Knightley was made for corsets and costume drama, and yet again she does not disappoint. The Duke is played by a wonderfully austere Ralph Fiennes, who epitomises how the aristocratic men of the time were expected to behave and live. It is also the most realistic portrayal I have seen yet, of women in the 1700's having no control over their own lives.

Princess Diana was a direct descendant of the Duchess and apparently was fascinated by her and the similarities their lives shared. There are moments when the parallels in their lives across hundreds of years are uncanny, and I thought of Diana alot as I watched.

If you enjoy this kind of historically factual costume drama, then we would both highly recommend this classy movie.

7 comments:

Sherri said...

Sarah, John and I saw this movie when it first came out and we loved it. Well the subject matter was horrible, the movie was acted very well, the costumes were fabulous and the music was beautiful.

pamokc said...

Oooooh, this has been on my list and waiting for it to come on pay-per-view .... :)

Daryl said...

The perfect movie for a snowy afternoon ... next week when there are no football games to interfer....

George said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to see if I can find it.

Lover of Life said...

I really liked this movie! I am also currently OBSESSED with the Tudors! The Showtime series is just wonderful. The second season is now available thru Netflix. I have read all the books, watched all the movies. Fascinating era.

Vintage Tea said...

I missed this film when it was released at the cinema so I'm waiting patiently for it's DVD release.

Victoria x

Linda said...

Thanks for the review. I have been waiting for it to come out on DVD.