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Movie Discussion Group verdict – THE DUCHESS (Dendy, Manuka, Belconenn Woden cinemas) – ***1/2

By Movie_Group - 22 October 2008 4

(From dendy.com.au):

    Long before the concept existed, the Duchess of Devonshire, Georgiana Spencer (Keira Knightley), was the original ‘It Girl’. Like her direct descendant Princess Diana, she was ravishing, glamorous and adored by an entire country. Determined to be a player in the wider affairs of the world, she proved that she could out-gamble, out-drink and outwit most of the aristocratic men who surrounded her. She helped usher in sweeping changes to England as a leader of the forward-thinking Whig Party. But even as her power and popularity grew, she was haunted by the fact that the only man in England she seemingly could not seduce was her very own husband, the Duke (Ralph Fiennes). And when she tried to find her own way to be true to her heart and loyal to her duty, the resulting controversies and convoluted liaisons would leave all of London talking.

Many differing viewpoints on the film from the group members, but the general agreement was that it was a worthwhile outing.

A few were totally absorbed for the whole movie, never feeling bored for a second, and others felt that a little more dissection of the politics of the period would have provided a bit more meat to the story.

Keira Knightley divided opinion as well – some thought she played the role to perfection, whilst others thought she was too modern in her speech and mannerisms.

Group rating: three-and-a-half stars (out of five).

The Movie Discussion Group meets once a week to see a movie and then go for coffee afterwards to discuss. There are no membership fees. For more information, or to join our emailing list, email movie_group@yahoo.com.au.

What’s Your opinion?


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4 Responses to
Movie Discussion Group verdict – THE DUCHESS (Dendy, Manuka, Belconenn Woden cinemas) – ***1/2
I-filed 9:09 pm 22 Oct 08

I just cannot bring myself to go and see a movie with Keira Knightley in it, unfortunately … not sure why, I just can’t stand her!

Moi 5:35 pm 22 Oct 08

I thought it was quite good, overall.
Unfortunately I’d read a couple of rave reviews prior to seeing it and somehow felt a little let down. Not badly … but as much as I like period films, anachronisms do annoy me and there were a couple. I agree with the assessment that the political environment was skipped over, and I felt there wasn’t enough depth and context to the Duke/Bess relationship. Finally, it seemed to me to be rather melodramatic in places.
That said, it was well-crafted, the acting was very good (particularly Fiennes) and it was definitely one of the better pictures I have seen in the past two years!

poptop 3:33 pm 22 Oct 08

[Jk]”A movie based on the concept of being unable to seduce Ralph Fiennes is risible.” Lisa Robertson[/Jk]

Whatsup 12:51 pm 22 Oct 08

I saw this movie a few weeks ago and thought it was brilliant.

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