The Duchess

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Released 2008

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9.3
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Movie Summary

Director:
Unknown
Released:
2008
Rating:
PG-13
The Duchess is a historical dramatic film directed by Saul Dibb based on Amanda Foreman's biography that centers on Georgiana Cavendish (Keira Knightley), Duchess of Devonshire, as she lives the opulent yet cold life of an 18th century aristocrat. Having been married to the indifferent and much older William Cavendish (Ralph Fiennes), the 5th Duke of Devonshire, at the age of seventeen, Georgiana dealt with the hand life gave her by using her beauty and charm to become a fashion icon and a well-adept political power player, even going so far to become involved with the future Prime Minister of England, Charles Grey (Dominic Cooper), the 2nd Early Grey. Though William and Georgiana never had any children, she ignored his many infidelities, even to the point of raising his illegitimate child as her own. When she becomes pregnant with Charles's daughter, Georgiana has to bear the task of knowing her daughter would ultimately never know her name.

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    Even surrounded by all this quality work, Ralph Fiennes, who plays William Cavendish, the fifth duke of Devonshire, the most powerful man in England next to the king, walks off wit...

  • 60

    Variety Justin Chang

    A serviceable picture that offers all the sumptuous visual pleasures of a historical costume drama, yet little in the way of actual history.

  • 40

    The New York Times Manohla Dargis

    An overstuffed, intellectually underbaked portrait of a poor little rich girl.

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    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    Biography, Love & Romance, Historical, Social Issues