And Isabelle, What Can I Do?
2008, Saul Dibb
I was suspect of this film from the start. Apparently not a whole lot of people were madly in love with it, and I can't say it's exactly a feel-good film, even for those who consider misery to be their kind of feel-good (*casts a shifty glance at her own dvd collection*). But aside from that, I was under the impression that it was just Marie Antoinette in a different package, and yet another period film starring Keira Knightly with funny hair. Happily, I was mostly proven wrong.
The Duchess tells the story of the unhappy marriage of Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire. Excited to be married off at 17 to the handsome and powerful Duke (Ralph Fiennes....yeah yeah, now you know why I REALLY bought it), Gee is quickly disenchanted when she realizes that her husband has no desire to even be friends with her, and that she will be sharing him with his many side-conquests. While she is pregnant with their first child, the Duke brings a little girl into their home...his daughter by one of the maids, recently deceased...and tells his wife that she can practice her mothering skills. Rather than crumble under all this, the young Duchess rises above, and cannot help but love the girl. In the absense of any relationship with her husband other than trying to produce a male heir, Georgiana threw herself into society and politics instead.
But the hits keep coming. For all her beauty and despite how beloved she was by others and her daughters, she is worthless in her husband's eyes until she has a boy (causing me to wonder just how it would have affected 18th century society to know that gender is determined by the father). She has one true friend, who then becomes her husband's mistress, and with whom she is forced to share a house for the rest of her life. Though the Duke is allowed as many affairs as he wishes, when Georgiana falls in love with her childhood friend she is forced to give him up, or never see her children again. While her husband's illegitimate daughter is raised in their home, Georgiana is secretted away and forced to give away her baby daughter by her lover. She was one of the most influencial women of her day, and yet she was, essentially, powerless.
Though I was suspect, Keira very quickly won me over in this film. She really is a wonderful actress, despite her staying in her safe period niche. I loved how the two females who could have been her greatest foils...her stepdaughter Charlotte and her husband's live-in mistress Bess...also shared with her a closeness. Because, much as they may have hated it, without the Duke all three of them would lose everything. For the first time I absolutely loathed Ralph Fiennes on screen, which is saying something...Lord Voldemort and Heathcliff were rotton, yes, but you LOVE to hate them. The Duke was just a jerk...but also a product of the society he lived in.
So yes, not exactly a feel-good film, rather melodramatic, but definitely good for a cry! And, of course, it's very pretty.
I dug my favorite white sundress out of my closet today.
It is yet another hopeful gesture.
Shoes and wrap from Old Navy
Dress from Rock'n Willy's :D
I love this top, for I bought it with my best friend Dena!
We have the same one, in different prints.
The shorts over tights thing is a new venture for me,
But as it is spring, it seemed a nice option for the weather!
Plus, I've seen it look really adorable on some fashion blogs and pretty friends :D