Cast: Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Charlotte Rampling and Dominic Cooper
Director: Saul Dibb
Script Jeffrey Hatcher
Rated: PG-13 (For nudity and sexual content)
Who wants to see Keira Knightley in another epoch movie? Few will probably run to the theater to buy a ticket. The truth is we are a little tired of seeing the English actress wearing wigs and lavish dresses from centuries ago. However Knightley’s performance rids us of all prejudice and makes us proud in The Duchess.
The movie that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival is based on the biography written by Amanda Foreman of Georgiana Spencer, the Duchess of Devonshire, who was a fashion icon and political mastermind in 18th century England. However, Georgiana’s family life was not as glamorous and carefree as it would seem. Her husband, the Duke of Devonshire, was a cold man who was daring enough to bring his lover home to live with him.
It should be no surprise that Ralph Fiennes was cast as the cold Duke of Devonshire, as the English actor seems to have mastered machiavelic characters. Knightley also shines in her very natural portrayal of Georgiana, which presents her as a human being and the typical heroin that is a victim of circumstances. The Duchess of Devonshire had a very strong personality, but at the same time was a very vulnerable woman who made many mistakes and paid for them dearly. She is the kind of character we don’t see often in Hollywood films.
In conclusion, this is a fascinating period drama, with outstanding performances, as well as exquisite photography, wardrobe and scenery.