epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

Movie Review: The Duchess

The Duchess (2008)

A bio-pic based on the biography 'Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire' by
Amanda Foreman.

In 1774 Georgiana Spencer (an ancestor of Diana) marries the Duke of
Devonshire believing it to be a love match. It isn't. The couple are
ill-suited, the reserved, emotionally constipated Duke cannot cope with a
vivacious, needy wife. Plus the lack of a son causes him to fly into rages
and take Georgiana's only friend, Lady Bess Foster, as his mistress. The
unhappy Duchess takes refugee in fashion, society, politics, drink, gambling
and an affair with Charles Grey.

This is rather dull but it has lovely costumes. The duke loves his dogs but
not his wife and has a great line with: "Please put out Her Grace's hair.".
The Duchess' drinking, rampant gambling addiction and ill-health are played
down and Lady Bess is made overly sympathetic. Still the bizarre nature of
the ménage a trois is made clear. Charles Grey is utterly bland.  This is worthy but dull stuff.
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