Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Dutchess (2008)

The story is simple: Georgiana, who is not yet 18, goes to marry the rich Duke of Devonshire, who is much older than her. The Duke wants a male heir. As time goes by, Georgiana learns that her husband loves his dogs more than her. All Londoners love her and the clothes she wears become quickly popular, but the duke never pays attention to her because she only can give him two daughters. The Duke also brings home his other daughter (with a servant) and asks his wife to raise her. [This daughter, Charlotte, never grows old in the movie.] When Georgiana finds out that the Duke has slept with her best friend Bess, she asks his permission to see his lover Charles Grey, which is refused (of course. At least the Duke is sane.). Georgiana finally can give the Duke a son, and even has a daughter with Grey. The Duke asks her to leave Grey, if not, he will prevent Georgiana from seeing her children and sabotage Grey's political career. The Duke, Georgiana, and Bess live together under the same roof until Georgiana's death.

There is nothing new in the story, which is based on a true story happened in the late 18th century. However, the locations, set designs and costumes are wonderful. This movie is beautiful. Ralph Fiennes is very good as the Duke: a man who has a strange way to express his love. He does whatever he wants to do and doesn't care about what others may think - except that he doesn't want to be a cuckold. The only actor/actress I like among the cast is Charlotte Rampling, though, who plays Georgiana's mother. 'Never mind what your husband do. He is very influencial and rich. I'm proud that he is my son-in-law. We women are destined to suffer.' -that must be the way she thinks.

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