Family and politics in early 19th century England
After I saw this movie I did a bit of research to find that the characters are real historical figures and the story told is apparently very accurate.
Keira Knightly stars as Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire. She gained that title when at 17 she married the Duke of Devonshire. At first I thought maybe Knightly was not the best choice for the role, as she is very attractive, but the original Georgiana apparently was a beauty in her own right. In light of all that it may be harder to understand why her husband was so indifferent to her.
Veteran Ralph Fiennes is amazingly good as her husband, Duke of Devonshire. It becomes clear from the beginning that he only wants two things from her, loyalty and a son as an heir. He seems to have no interest in her, no passion for her, except for what she might provide for him. When she has several miscarriages and then 3 daughters he becomes very impatient.
Charlotte Rampling is good as Georgiana's mother Lady Spencer. And, if that name sounds familiar, that is the same Spencer family that are ancestors of Lady Diana Spencer who became Princess of Wales when she married Prince Charles, and who died in the unfortunate accident in France in 1997.
A key character is Dominic Cooper as Charles Grey, who went into politics at a young age and eventually became Prime Minister in 1830. His role here is important in that he and Georgiana had an affair and a love child after her own marriage crumbled when her husband took up with her good friend Bess Foster.
All in all a very good period piece, and a real slice of English history. It is interesting to see the family and political dynamics and how powerful the wealthy were. Probably still are.
Rating: 4 / 5