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The Duchess (2008)

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Biography, Drama, History |

The Duchess is a British drama film directed by Saul Dibb. It is based on Amanda Foreman’s biography of the late 18th-century English aristocrat Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire. It was released in September 2008 in the United Kingdom. The film won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design, and was nominated for Best Art Direction.

The young Georgiana is contracted in marriage to William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire, with the expectation that she produce his male heir. Georgiana is quickly disillusioned by her husband, especially when Charlotte, a motherless child, comes to live with them while Georgiana is pregnant. William expects Georgiana to tolerate the presence of the child who turns out to be his own illegitimate offspring. He also suggests that she “practise mothering” on the young girl. When Georgiana gives birth to a girl, William is displeased. In his mind he has fulfilled his obligations to her as her husband but, by failing to provide him with a legitimate male heir, she has failed in her obligations as his wife.

Georgiana socialises with the young Lady Bess Foster at Bath and kindly invites her to live with them, since Bess has nowhere else to go. William has an affair with Bess, causing Georgiana to feel robbed of her only friend and betrayed by Bess. Bess explains to Georgiana that her motive is to regain her three sons and continues to live with them.

Director: Saul Dibb

Writers: Jeffrey Hatcher (screenplay), Anders Thomas Jensen (screenplay), Saul Dibb (screenplay), Amanda Foreman (book)

Stars: Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Charlotte Rampling, Dominic Cooper, Hayley Atwell, Simon McBurney, Aidan McArdle

►Cast:

Keira KnightleyGeorgiana
Ralph FiennesThe Duke
Charlotte RamplingLady Spencer
Dominic CooperCharles Grey
Hayley AtwellBess Foster
Simon McBurneyCharles Fox
Aidan McArdleRichard Sheridan
John ShrapnelGeneral Grey
Alistair PetrieHeaton
Patrick GodfreyDr. Neville
Michael MedwinSpeechmaker
Justin EdwardsMacaroni
Richard McCabeSir James Hare
Calvin A. DeanDevonshire House Servant (as Calvin Dean)
Hannah StokelyDevonshire House Maid
Andrew ArmourBurleigh (as Andy Armour)
Emily JewellNanny
Bruce MackinnonSir Peter Teazle (as Bruce MacKinnon)
Georgia KingLady Teazle
Luke NorrisFootman
Eva HrelaCharlotte (Age 3)
Poppy WigglesworthCharlotte (Age 9)
Emily CohenHarryo
Mercy Fiennes TiffinLittle G
Sebastian ApplewhiteAugustus
Angus McEwanLord Robert
Kate BurdetteLady Harriet
Laura StevelyLady Elizabeth
Benjamin NobleLord Ambrose (as Ben Garlick)
Max BennettLord Walter
Camilla ArfwedsonLady Charlotte
Fiona SheehanYoung Girl in Theatre
Sarah WyattServant Girl
Thomas ArnoldDealer
Gilbert WynneAlthorpe Servant
Richard CurzonHeaton’s Clerk
Sophia JohnstonGuest at Lady Melbourne’s Ball
Katerina TanaGuest at Lady Melbourne’s Ball
Ailsa BakerAristocrat at political rally
Daniel BardwellGamer
Cristóbal Blanco GarcíaAristocrat
Cris BlancoAristocrat at Political Rally
Philippa BurtParty Guest
Leigh DanielsDancer
John K. DuncanDevonshire Servant
Julie EagletonAristocrat
Steve HardyTenant
Helen HolmanTheatre Patron
Emily JardineProstitute
James MacCollBath Servant
Dale MercerBess’s Dance Partner
Tobias NichollsDevonshire Servant
Carl RobinsonFootman 2
John RobinsonAristocrat at Theatre
Rose RomainMaid
Mark ShrimptonDevonshire House Servant
Michael ThomsonRed Coats Soldier
Nigel WrightServant

Sources: imdb & wikipedia

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