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The Duchess [Blu-ray] [2008]


Price: £7.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The Duchess [Blu-ray] [2008] + Pride & Prejudice [Blu-ray][Region Free] [2005] + Pride And Prejudice [Blu-ray] [1995] [Region Free]
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Product details

  • Actors: Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Dominic Cooper
  • Subtitles: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Mar. 2009
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001JK6P0Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,698 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Sumptuous historical drama starring Keira Knightley as eighteenth century aristocrat Georgiana Spencer, Duchess of Devonshire, who was known for her glamorous and extravagant lifestyle. Married at a young age to the older Duke of Devonshire (Ralph Fiennes), Georgiana becomes a fashion icon and a shrewd political operator as well as a doting mother and darling of the common people. However, trapped in an unhappy triangle with her husband and his mistress, her search for love becomes increasingly desperate. When she begins a passionate affair with an ambitious young politician, the scandal causes bitter conflict with her already distant husband.

From Amazon.co.uk

Swaddled in whalebone and wigs, Keira Knightley steps into the restricted world of the Duchess of Devonshire, a royal lady popular with her subjects but stuck in an unhappy marriage. If this situation recalls Princess Diana (a descendent of the Duchess's family), so much the better for the purposes of director Saul Dibb and company; this film is eager to draw parallels with the unfortunate Lady Di, as Knightley's unsuspecting girl is married off to the Duke (Ralph Fiennes), a distracted man who craves male sons, and obviously has never thought of women as anything other than a means to achieve an heir. When the Duchess launches her procreative career with a couple of daughters, well, the Duke begins to get nervous--and partners outside the marriage become increasingly appealing. The Duchess serves up lavish portions of Brit-movie staples: costumes (which, in Knightley's case, are nothing short of spectacular), landscapes and gorgeous music (by Rachel Portman). If it falls short in some vague way, perhaps it's because the film is a mostly one-note affair, meaning exactly what it seems to mean at every moment. Charlotte Rampling appears too briefly as Knightley's mother, and Dominic Cooper and Hayley Atwell (from Brideshead Revisited), rising stars both, contribute attractive lures for the principals. They prove the old movie adage: there's a lot to be said for eye candy. --Robert Horton, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Purpleheart TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Aug. 2009
Format: DVD
I had read the book by Amanda Foreman and thought I'd give the film a miss as I thought it would be trivialised, especially as the publicity had emphasised the blood relationship to Diana, Princess of Wales. I watched this with no great expectations..

Obviously, it doesn't have the depth of the biography but it's very successful nonetheless. Knightley was a revelation here, a very affecting and intelligent performance. Fiennes is intense and their scenes work well. I wasn't as convinced by the love scenes with Grey or by the growing relationship between Fiennes and Lady Bess Foster.

The film is just gorgeous visually, the costumes sumptuous, the hair fantastic in every sense of the word, the real settings awe inspiring - that's what they were built for after all.

Unlike other reviewers here I didn't mind that the narrative arc didn't cover all of her life - this was enough drama.

On the DVD you get three deleted scenes - the first of which I think the director should have retained, and a fascinating documentary on the making of the film which includes Foreman and the producer at Chatsworth reading Georgiana's extremely well written letters (Foreman wasn't wearing gloves which bothered me somewhat in an OCD kind of way).

Entertaining and affecting
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lizzie VINE VOICE on 18 Jun. 2009
Format: Blu-ray
I watched this movie on Blu-ray two weeks ago, and find that I'm still thinking about it. Kiera Knightly is perfectly cast as the complex Duchess of Devonshire, who lived in the latter part of the eighteenth century.

The film follows most of the Duchess's life from the time she was married to the aloof Duke. The film perfectly shows just what a charismatic and remarkable woman she was, and how she coped with living in a loveless marriage and having to accommodate having her husband's lover living in the same house.

Living in a time when women didn't even have the vote, she used her charisma and beauty to great effect in the politics of the day, and managed to combine this with a great love for her children, while trapped in her private life by a cruel and despising husband.

During the film you root for Georgiana, hoping that she will find some kind of love and lasting happiness.

This was a beautiful film, the sumptuous costumes and photography just sublime. In fact I can't find anything wrong with it. That said, Kiera Knightley, stole the show. Can't say I was a huge fan of hers until seeing this, but in my opinion the film wouldn't have been the same with a different actress, and I think it is her finest performance to date.

As for the Blu-ray edition, well the quality is faultless, and I would say it is well worth paying the extra in order to do the film justice.

Buy this to enjoy again and again.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Olivia Richmond on 28 Jun. 2009
Format: DVD
I really enjoyed watching this film. The period costumes were great, the scenery and lighting were fantastic. I am not a huge Kiera Knightley fan but I thought that she showed a real commitment to the character of Georgiana.
Having also read the book that inspired the film, I was intrigued to see how the film would compare. I think the way to look at it is to recognise that they have captured the essence of Georgiana. The film shows a little of this incredibly fascinating person and the pressures and temptations of her life.
Some aspects of this film are tragic, so not a feel good chick flick, but worth a watch!
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By nickv on 23 Aug. 2009
Format: DVD
I strongly believe that anyone fond of period dramas and 18th century society will deem this film absolutely adorable. The script is really interesting on itself and what makes the movie fantastic are the stunning performances of acclaimed actress Keira Knightley and actors Ralph Fiennes, Dominic Cooper and more.
Something else that catches the viewer's attention is how realistic a film 'The Duchess' is. Let us not forget that it was the winner of this year's Academy Award in 'Best Achievement in Costume Design' and, furthermore, it was nominated for 'Best Achievement in Art Direction too'.
Personally, I was amazed by the amount of special features of this DVD, as there was a lot to discover behind the story of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. Deleted scenes, not available in other editions, are included as well.
In conclusion, 'The Duchess' is a masterpiece with great cast and crew and I highly recommend it to anyone with a good taste in films.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By everest67 on 28 Mar. 2009
Format: Blu-ray
The photography of this film is stunning in blu ray, a real treat.
I cannot recommend it more. The costumes and scenery come to life in your home. Five stars from me.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By hbw VINE VOICE on 16 Jan. 2009
Format: DVD
"The Duchess" is visually stunning to the point of distraction. The sets, costumes and manners are straight out of the "BBC meets the National Trust" school of period drama; some scenes are so authentic that they could have been designed by Reynolds or Gainsborough.

Although based on Amanda Foreman's book "Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire , the film concentrates on Georgiana's marriage to the powerful Duke of Devonshire and her extra-marital affair with Charles Grey, a young Whig politician who eventually became Prime Minister.

Despite the denials, there are unmistakable parallels with Diana, Princess of Wales. Georgiana's marriage is dynastic rather than romantic and she is a good mother, naturally gifted with children. As a wife, she suffers from a legal and moral double standard that turns a blind eye to her husband's adultery, whilst labelling her "a whore" when she decamps to Bath with her lover.

There are brief glimpses of another, more gutsy, side of Georgiana which is never really developed; this is the difference between a "safe at the box office" film and a great one. Georgiana Spencer was a highly intelligent and well educated young woman who, as the wife of the Duke of Devonshire, was able to wield considerable political clout.

Ralph Fiennes gives a fine performance as the Duke, although we are left wondering about the influences that shaped him. Keira Knightley does well as an 18th century Diana, but is no match for the real Georgiana. She deserves better. There was a time when the BBC would have dedicated a 13-part prime-time drama to this great-granddaughter of Sarah Churchill.
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