Fathers don't let your daughters grow up to marry narcissistic, philandering Dukes. This sad tale details the life and loves of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who originally hailed from the House of Spencer.
Georgiana, very convincingly portrayed by Kiera Knightly, is married off to the Duke of Devonshire, fleshed out in layers of furtive narcissism by Ralph Fiennes, and life for the beautiful and cultured Georgiana unravels into a complicated maze of deception and loss. Her new husband, the Duke, is a philanderer, who treats his young, lovely wife as an object only to represent the marital side of his existence at parties and to bear his brood.
In exhibition of his insensitivity toward his life partner, he brings his mistress, Bess Foster played by Hayley Atwell, to their home as a permanent house guest. Among having his way with Bess, the Duke continues his boorish persona toward his wife, and leaves his gracious Duchess no choice but to seek her emotional sustenance elsewhere. Does this House of Spencer situation sound similar?
I could go on about these striking comparisons to Lady Diana, or that the Duchess did have some measure of happiness, however fleeting, and that she was, at one time, one of the great ladies of fashion, but instead, I would rather advocate that you see the movie. At 110 minutes, if witnessing costume balls and the royals doing what they do interests you, you will waste no time, and you will you enjoy this film immensely.
Rated PG13. Released on DVD December 27, 2008.