THE DUCHESS

A Victim of Male Hypocrisy

Content -3
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: September 19, 2008

Starring: Keira Knightley, Ralph
Fiennes, Charlotte Rampling,
Dominic Cooper, Hayley Atwell,
and Simon McBurney

Genre: Historical Drama

Audience: Older teenagers and adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 110 minutes

Distributor: Paramount Vantage

Director: Saul Dibb

Executive Producer: Francois Ivernel, Cameron
McCracken, Christine Langan,
David M. Thompson, Carolyn
Marks Blackwood, and Amanda
Foreman

Producer: Gabrielle Tana and Michael
Kuhn

Writer: Saul Dibb, Jeffrey Hatcher and
Anders Thomas Jensen

Address Comments To:

Sumner Redstone, Chairman/CEO, Viacom
John Lesher, President
Paramount Vantage (aka Paramount Classics)
A Division of Paramount Pictures
5555 Melrose Avenue
Chevalier Building
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Phone: (323) 956-2000; Fax: (323) 862-1212
Website: www.paramountclassics.com

Content:

(RoRoRo, FeFe, RHRH, Ho, L, VV, SS, N, AA, MM) Very strong Romantic worldview attacking upper class morality and male hypocrisy in 18th Century England with a strong feminist text that appears to reflect too much revisionist history, plus a scene with lesbian homosexual overtones; three obscenities; hitting and a struggle occurs during rape scene; depicted adultery and rape in two scenes, implied adultery in other scenes, woman kisses and off-screen fondles another woman to show her what a real male lover could do, and honeymoon night implied after husband takes off wife’s clothes; upper male nudity and rear female nudity when woman leaves room; alcohol use and drunkenness; no smoking; and, lying, rampant hypocrisy and abuse of women.

Summary:

THE DUCHESS stars Keira Knightley in a historical drama set in 18th Century England, about a woman who has difficulty fitting in with what society expects of her. Though well acted and opulently photographed, THE DUCHESS views Lady Georgiana as mostly a feminist victim of upper class moral hypocrisy.

Review:

Based on a true story from 18th Century England, THE DUCHESS is a historical drama about a woman who has difficulty fitting in with what society expects of her. The movie seems a little too grim and feminist than the historical facts might warrant, but it is certainly well produced.

Keira Knightley plays Georgiana Spencer, a beautiful 17-year-old who is married off to an unemotional man, the Duke of Devonshire, played by Ralph Fiennes. According to the movie, all the Duke wants is a male heir. Georgiana, however, is unable at first to bear a son. She gives the Duke two daughters, and the Duke forces her to take care of the daughter of his former mistress.

Unloved by the Duke, Lady G gets involved in politics and gambling. Her fashion sense becomes popular, and she causes quite a stir.

Georgiana becomes best friends with another woman, Elizabeth Foster, who has been dumped by her husband. She convinces the Duke to let Elizabeth stay at their huge mansion. Elizabeth betrays Georgiana with the Duke, and the Duke refuses to kick out Elizabeth. Georgiana decides to take up with her own lover, a young politician she has admired for a long time. The scandal causes an angry Duke to brutally lay down the hypocritical moral laws of the upper class.

Though well acted and opulently photographed, THE DUCHESS views Lady Georgiana as mostly a victim of an evil, uncaring man, the Duke of Devonshire. It fails to discuss her gambling addiction, her own rampant love affairs and her apparently habitual drinking. Instead, it concentrates on the negative effects of her unhappy marriage to the Duke.

This revisionist history fits in with a strong Romantic worldview and feminist outlook. Thus, it’s hard to separate the movie’s depiction of history from its apparent political agenda.

THE DUCHESS also contains some strong sexual content, including a rape scene.

In Brief:

THE DUCHESS stars Keira Knightley in a historical drama set in 18th Century England, about a woman who has difficulty with what society expects of her. Georgiana Spencer, a beautiful 17-year-old who is married off to an unemotional man, the Duke of Devonshire. According to the movie, all the Duke wants is a male heir. Georgiana, however, is unable at first to bear a son. So, the Duke takes up with his wife’s best friend, and Georgiana takes up with a young politician she has admired for a long time. The scandal causes an angry Duke to brutally lay down the hypocritical moral laws of the upper class.

Though well acted and opulently photographed, THE DUCHESS views Lady Georgiana as mostly a victim of an evil, uncaring man, the Duke of Devonshire. It fails to discuss her gambling addiction, her own rampant love affairs and her apparently habitual drinking. Instead, it concentrates on the negative effects of her unhappy marriage to the Duke. This revisionist history fits in with a strong Romantic worldview and feminist outlook. Thus, it’s hard to separate the movie’s depiction of history from its apparent political agenda.