The Duchess (2008) Review

Last night while browsing through Netflix, I came across a movie that I've somehow overlooked back in 2008; by then, a few historical genre movies came out. I believe Pirates of the Caribbean 1 or 2 was out around that time, because I was on my Johnny Depp kick and I just HAD to go see it. So that was the majority of my movie focus.

Which brings me to Keira Knightly. While she did a fantastic job in POTC as Elizabeth Swan, she did a phenomenal job portraying the Lady Georgiana Cavendish: Duchess of Devonshire in the movie of the same name.

The movie is based both on historical accounts of the real Georgiana, and on the biography Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman

       While I'm sure many history and historical fashion buffs have seen this movie at least 5 times, I won't have to go too much into detail about the movie's synopsis. I thought the movie was beautiful but sad, because of the movie's true depiction of life in high society in the 18th century. It was pretty messed up. According to customs and regulations of the aristocracy, it was imperative that there was to be a male heir, and that the newlywed wife could magically make it happen on the first try. This was both emotionally and physically taxing on both couples, because expectations were very high. Case in point, the arduous relationship between Georgiana and her husband the Duke.  

Anyway, what I did love about the movie were all of the gowns. Historically speaking, the Duchess was the hype of fashion and was even nicknamed "The Empress of Fashion" by her peers. The way they depicted that in the movie was certainly extravagant and spot on. Her riding habit/political uniform was my absolute favorite! Something I definitely would love to replicate one day. 

I also liked Lady Elizabeth Foster's green dress. From close observation, it looks like it's a silk English gown with lace. It's simple and a little toned down compared to Georgiana's wardrobe, but just as elegant and something I could definitely pull off making (That is if I could get my hands on some silk taffeta).

In retrospect this movie definitely tugged at my heart-strings and made me want to learn more about the Duchess of Devonshire and her family. As a matter of fact, during my research I've come to find out that Georgiana Spencer was the direct relative of Princess Diana (who was also a Spencer)! On a scale of 1-10, where 10 is the best, I want to give this movie a 7 and a click on my favorite's list for a really good period drama movie. 


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