Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mini-Review: The Duchess

The Duchess
Directed by Saul Dibb
Released September 19, 2008

To say that “The Duchess” just never quite gets interesting is probably the kindest way of putting it. Nothing about the film, no thanks to its slow pace, stands out as original or remotely exciting. There are lavish costumes and set pieces aplenty, but the film feels devastatingly empty and devoid of content. So little actually occurs and the film’s dramatic turning point is hardly even embellished. Keira Knightley is good at this time of role but she’s far more fascinating when she’s playing someone written a bit more three-dimensionally. Ralph Fiennes has earned raves for what I found to be a one-note disappointment, especially for the talented actor recently so villainous and terrific in “In Bruges.” I was impressed with Hayley Atwell’s performance as the third wheel in the duchess’s marriage, and I think we can expect great things from her in the future. As far as this film goes, it’s probably worth it to skip it and do something interesting instead.


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