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The Duchess doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is: a comfortable, low-calorie morsel of historical drama.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
a refreshing look at British royalty, and it will curb your want to be part of that era, age and societal level
| Original Score: 3/5
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.
| Original Score: 5/10
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.
Knightley and Cooper don't ever generate much in the way of chemistry.
Willing to settle for all-around competency instead of excavating history for deeper insights, leaving audiences with another undemanding genre placeholder. [Blu-ray]
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.
| Original Score: 75/100
...plays like a Masterpiece Theater adaptation of an eighteen-century soap opera.
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.
| Original Score: 3/4
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.
| Original Score: 4/5
This is a wonderful film.
There's something really special about Kiera Knightly in these period pieces.
Relatively painless, at least by the standards of awards-season chum...
Knightley shines in this tale of grace under pressure.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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.
It chronicles the saga of a vibrant and forward-thinking woman hampered by the constraints of a rigid society.
It's disturbingly shallow, focused so tightly on one woman's feelings of repression and loneliness that it lacks any perspective on their causes.
It's not bad. It's not great. It's just there.
A film of elegance, wit and some power that's just a bit too compromised by its rather soapy underpinnings.
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.
| Original Score: C