Blu-ray The Duchess [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray 16260184),
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The Duchess [Blu-ray]

  • Blu-ray
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • After PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and ATONEMENT, Keira Knightley continues her reign as the queen of the period film with this 18th-century costume drama. The corset-clad actress stars as Georgiana Spenser, the Duchess of Devonshire. With her marriage to the duke (Ralph Fiennes), Georgiana achieves an impressive level of fame as Britons follow both her clothing style and her political advice. But even celebrity and wealth can't act as a salve in her marriage to the boring, boorish duke. When he begins to flaunt his affairs, Georgiana is tempted to return to a teenage crush, Charles Grey (Dominic Cooper of THE HISTORY BOYS), to the anger of her husband and her mother (Charlotte Rampling, SWIMMING POOL).

    Fiennes's portrayal of the duke ranks roughly with his Lord Voldemort on a scale of beastly behavior, but the acclaimed actor manages to give him a level of humanity that far surpasses what he deserves. THE DUCHESS focuses on the lack of power possessed by Georgiana and, in fact, all women of her time, and the duke is the primary agent of her suppression. As she has done with other period films from the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN series to KING ARTHUR, Knightley brings spirit to the role, as well as a regal carriage that perfectly fits the detailed costumes by Michael O'Connor. Fans of history-based drama--Georgiana was real-life royalty who is found in the genealogy of Princess Diana--will find much to like in this film, which boasts impressive locations, lush costumes, and forbidden love.

    Academy Awards Best Costume Design 2009 Michael O'Connor Costume designer

  • Credits
    Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Charlotte Rampling, Dominic Cooper, Hayley Atwell, Simon McBurney, Aidan McArdle, John Shrapnel
  • Critic Reviews
    "[E]ntertainingly and sumptuously told....The cinematography is stunning, with gorgeous costumes and a sweeping score. All of this is capped by compelling key performances."
    USA Today

    "Knightley, who's in virtually every scene...rises to the challenge with more skill and emotional range than she's hitherto been given credit for."
    Sight and Sound

    3 stars out of 4 -- "[T]he film belongs to Knightley. There's a fire in her eyes that won't be extinguished, and it keeps us in her corner....It's Knightley who makes THE DUCHESS a royal treat."
    Rolling Stone

    4 stars out of 5 -- "The cast and period are immaculately turned out, and events roll at an assured, stately pace..."

    "[T]he film, impeccably shot by cinematographer Gyula Pados on location in a variety of British stately homes, is as handsomely mounted and beautifully costumes as anything you could as for."
    Los Angeles Times

    "[Fiennes] develops a beautiful, wordless vocabulary of hurt, frustration, sadism, lust...and unanalyzed pain for his Duke....The actor creates particulars of time, space, class, and personality with one crook of a finger, one twist of a wrist." -- Grade: B
    Entertainment Weekly

    "THE DUCHESS is a handsome historical film, impeccably mounted....It is about hard realists, constrained in a stifling system and using whatever weapons they can command. It is rather fascinating on that level..."
    Chicago Sun-Times

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