Monday, September 15, 2008
In which a spirited Keira Knightley as the eponymous Duchess is abused mightily by her mother, husband and 'best friend' – and even more grievously by the clunking script and pedestrian direction, cinematography and editing. To cap it all, a thousand violins interject themselves whenever they spot an opportunity. Usually at a point where we are enjoying yet another long lingering close-up of Keira emoting moodily with fantastic 18th-century hair.
How I longed for the wit and stylishness of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette.
Ralph Fiennes’ performance as the Duke is pretty magnificent. But then – perhaps an easier role? (the patriarchal insensitive oafish bully showing flashes of humanity now and then) – and a decidedly smaller one, meaning there is not as much for the production team to tamper with.
My google stats show a consistent demand for The Duchess of Devonshire and Keira Knightley, so to satisfy my readers I just had to see this film! The things I do for you.