Friday, September 26, 2008

"The Duchess"

"The Duchess," the new Keira Knightly vehicle about the life of English noblewoman Georgiana Spencer, the Duchess of Devonshire (1757 - 1806), opened last weekend here in New York. It's based on the biography of the same title by Amanda Foreman.

I had the chance to check it out. It's more soap opera than History Channel but I'd recommend it for fans of the 18th century biopic genre.

Keira Knightly, an enchanting beauty, was good but not great.

Ralph Fiennes plays Georgiana's cold husband, William Cavendish, the 5th Duke of Devonshire (1748 - 1811). He was quite good, as always. But, it's getting difficult to separate him in my movie-goer brain from his role as Voldemort in the "Harry Potter" films.

It's also hard not to like Hayley Atwell who portrayed Bess Foster, Georgiana's charming friend who becomes the Duke's "other woman."

Genealogical aside: Diana, Princess of Wales, was a descendant of Georgiana's brother, the 2nd Earl Spencer.

"Professional" movie critic note: Manohla was snippy and condescending in her dislike of this one. But, she and I have disagreed before.

No comments: