Media

Movie Renter's Guide - December, 2008

ARTICLE INDEX

 

"The Duchess" (Blu-ray)

movie-december-2008-the-duchess.jpgSynopsis

In 1774, London, the Duke of Devonshire (Fiennes) contracts with Lady Spencer (Rampling) to marry her daughter Georgiana (Knightley), after which she becomes the Duchess of Devonshire. The Spencers are a fine family, and basically all the Duke wants is a male heir to his estate and position in society.

At first, Georgiana is quite happy, but soon discovers that the Duke is sharing his (their) bed with other women.

She learns to accept this, and in her loneliness, befriends a young woman, Bess Foster (Atwell), whom she invites to stay with them at their Devonshire House in London.

Now, she finds that the Duke is bedding Bess as well, who explains that the Duke promised to get her children from her estranged husband if she would share his bed.

So, Georgiana decides to make some intimate friends herself, selecting a young man, Charles Grey, who is a member of Parliament, and who is campaigning to become Prime Minister. She becomes more involved in politics in the process, but the Duke will have none of this and threatens her if she does not break off her relationship with Charles.

So, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, must choose between love for Mr. Grey, and her responsibilities at home, which include several children.

 

 

Specifications

  • Paramount Vantage Pathe
  • 2008, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 49 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
  • Starring Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Charlotte Rampling, Dominic Cooper, Hayley Atwell
  • Directed by Saul Dibb
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: No

Commentary

The film is based on a true story, and Charles Grey eventually was elected Prime Minister. It's a bit ponderous, but is beautifully photographed with natural lighting in magnificent homes of the affluent, with costumes that I think deserve an Academy Award nomination, and the acting is superb. Ralph Fiennes, in particular, is very good at playing a character who has the class of something you occasionally get on your shoe.

Technical

The picture is very sharp, but the soft lighting hides that sharpness a bit. Just basic use of surround channels, but the musical score is very nice.

Extras

These include Making The Duchess, Georgiana in Her Own Words, Costume Diary, and other things.