The Duchess is a 2008 British drama film directed by Saul Dibb. It is based on Amanda Foreman’s biography of the 18th-century English aristocrat Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire.

Starring: Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Dominic Cooper

Though adored by the people, the Duchess of Devonshire (Keira Knightley) is not content to sit as a pretty figurehead. Determined to be a major player in affairs of state, she rises to the forefront of the Whig Party and helps usher in reform in late-1700s England. The one thing it seems she cannot do is win the heart of her husband (Ralph Fiennes).

Mike Scott (Times-Picayune) The Duchess doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is: a comfortable, low-calorie morsel of historical drama. Full Review
Kevin Carr (7M Pictures) a refreshing look at British royalty, and it will curb your want to be part of that era, age and societal level Full Review
Jeffrey Chen (Window to the Movies) Everything you’d expect it to be: a well-acted British period piece with lavish attention to period detail, about discontented characters in a royal family. And that’s about it. Full Review
Ryan Cracknell (Movie Views) At its simplest, it’s a gorgeous film with beautiful period costumes and intricate set designs. However, something tells me that’s not the level director Saul Dibb wanted to achieve greatest on. Full Review
Michael Dequina (TheMovieReport.com) Knightley and Cooper don’t ever generate much in the way of chemistry. Full Review
Peter Canavese (Groucho Reviews) Willing to settle for all-around competency instead of excavating history for deeper insights, leaving audiences with another undemanding genre placeholder. [Blu-ray] Full Review
Brian Webster (Apollo Guide) Deserves credit for playing things straight %u2013 complete with its moral quagmire and inherent sadness. The performances of Knightley, Fiennes and Atwell really make it work. Full Review
John J. Puccio (Movie Metropolis) …plays like a Masterpiece Theater adaptation of an eighteen-century soap opera. Full Review
Matt Brunson (Creative Loafing) Hands Keira Knightley another plum leading role and serves as yet another example of how Ralph Fiennes’ brooding brand of acting can be successfully employed for all manner of characters. Full Review
Pete Hammond (Hollywood.com) With striking parallels to the life of her direct descendant, Princess Diana, this stunning film of the tortured love life of Duchess Georgiana Spencer is a triumph for its star, Keira Knightley. Full Review
Ben Mankiewicz (At the Movies) This is a wonderful film. Full Review
Ben Lyons (At the Movies) There’s something really special about Kiera Knightly in these period pieces. Full Review
Sean Burns (Philadelphia Weekly) Relatively painless, at least by the standards of awards-season chum… Full Review
Charles Koplinski (Illinois Times) Knightley shines in this tale of grace under pressure. Full Review
Kevin Lally (Film Journal International) Husbands and boyfriends, be especially diplomatic when accompanying your dates to The Duchess. This lavish look back at a royal pain and his beleaguered bride is a chick flick with anger issues. Full Review
Claudia Puig (USA Today) It chronicles the saga of a vibrant and forward-thinking woman hampered by the constraints of a rigid society. Full Review
Tasha Robinson (Chicago Tribune) It’s disturbingly shallow, focused so tightly on one woman’s feelings of repression and loneliness that it lacks any perspective on their causes. Full Review
Jean Lowerison (San Diego Metropolitan) It’s not bad. It’s not great. It’s just there. Full Review
Ken Hanke (Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)) A film of elegance, wit and some power that’s just a bit too compromised by its rather soapy underpinnings. Full Review
Nick Davis (Nick’s Flick Picks) Dibb conceived of the right, poignant atmosphere for a glimpse at rarefied 18th-century life but barely read the Cliff’s Notes for whose life he was staging, or why he was doing it. Full Review

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