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9 Movies like The Duchess (2008)8 min read


The Duchess is a 2008 British drama film directed by Saul Dibb and starring Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Dominic Cooper, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Emily Watson. The screenplay was written by Sarah Phelps based on the novel of the same name by Amanda Foreman. It tells the story of Georgiana Spencer (Knightley), Duchess of Devonshire in her youth and later years. The duchess eventually became one of Britain’s leading socialites until her eventual decline due to gambling addiction and mental illness- ultimately dying destitute at age 76.

The film covers both contemporary histories as well as periods in which she lived; it shows Georgiana’s marriage to John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford (Fiennes) who was much older than she was. The film then depicts her in middle age during the French Revolution through the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte, with whom she becomes close friends while imprisoned in Paris. Two other storylines involve Georgiana’s sister Eliza (Knightley) who marries mostly for money to pay off her debts and Caroline (Scott Thomas), Georgiana’s mother. Caroline is the one who suffers most from Georgiana’s reckless spending habits which leads Caroline to take drastic measures against Georgiana in order to secure her future.

“The Duchess” was released on 12 September 2008 by Momentum Pictures in three cinemas in the UK, then wider on 15 October before expanding to more cinemas on 26 October. It made $1,797,498 in the UK at the box office and $29,278,224 worldwide. The Duchess was not widely reviewed because of its limited release but it received positive reviews from critics with many praising Knightley’s acting skills while comparing her performance to past award-winning ones.

If you enjoy The Duchess, here are some movies like The Duchess you should watch next:

The Duchess of Langeais (2007)

The Duchess of Langeais is a 2007 French film directed by Jacques Rivette and starring Bulle Ogier, Jerzy Radziwilowicz, and Guillaume Depardieu. The story takes place in 18th-century France around the time of King Louis XV. The Duchess of Langeais is betrothed to the Marquis de Montriveau who falls in love with her but becomes heartbroken when he realizes that she loves someone else. She, however, refuses to tell him who this mysterious lover is despite his insistence on knowing.

Tea with Mussolini (1999)

Tea with Mussolini is a 1999 film which is an adaptation of author Iris Origo’s memoir of the same name. It is set in Italy during World War II and depicts events that take place between 1938 and 1944. The movie focuses on the social life in Tuscany- specifically in Florence- among different expatriate communities living there such as Italians, British, and Americans. It also depicts the lives of women during this period which are generally dominated by men because they are unable to vote, own property, or have a career. The Duchess of Langeais was adapted into an opera in 1934 by Francis Poulenc.

Arthur and the Invisibles (2006)

The film is a French and Irish production loosely based on two of author Roald Dahl’s children’s books: The Fantastic Mr. Fox and Danny, the Champion of the World. Arthur is an eight-year-old boy who lives with his grandmother in a quiet country home. He discovers that his family has a secret history of spending time with tiny people who live in the woods. Arthur soon embarks on an incredible journey to find them and discovers that they are little people living in hiding from the evil Lord Business (John Goodman) who plans to glue the universe so everything is secure. He must fight this villain if he wants to set things right.

The Young Victoria (2009)

The film is a biographical drama that focuses on the early life of Queen Victoria. The movie begins with her childhood in which she is raised by her mother, the Duchess of Kent, and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha who later becomes her husband. They struggle to find happiness before and after their marriage and must overcome many obstacles along the way. This includes dealing with her domineering mother and royal duties which force them to be apart from each other for long periods of time.

The Painted Veil (2006)

The film is based on a book written by British author W. Somerset Maugham in 1925. The story follows a woman and her husband, who is a physician and bacteriologist, as they travel to China in order for him to study an outbreak of cholera. The protagonist must deal with the culture shock she experiences when she arrives in China while contending with issues at home involving her marriage. To make matters worse, her husband falls in love with another woman which puts the protagonist’s life into perspective. She must choose between starting anew and following her heart.

The Way We Were (1973)

The Way We Were is a 1973 American romantic drama film that tells the story of Katie Morosky, an aspiring social activist who falls in love with Robert Redford’s character, Hubbell Gardiner. The two are different people but come together despite experiencing many hardships that force them apart. This culminates in a dramatic ending that forces both characters to make a decision that will change their lives forever.

Mama Mia! (2008)

Mama Mia! follows forty-year-old Sophie Sheridan who learns that her mother is a former singer and had engaged in a romantic relationship with three different men while she was carrying her. Sophie who has never met her father before decides to find them so that she can determine who her one true love is. At the same time, Sophie’s mom struggles to rebuild her life after marrying an American architect and moving away from Greece.

Ladyhawke (1985)

The film is a fantasy romance that follows two lovers, Isabeau and Etienne, who represent the Lady and the Hawk in an old story. After they are cursed into their animal forms by an evil bishop, each must roam the earth alone for many years. They seek to break the curse but struggle with their trust in each other until they are able to regain their human form.

Les Misérables (1998)

Based on a book written by French author Victor Hugo in 1862, the story follows Jean Valjean who is released from prison after nineteen years and finds that no one will give him a job or home. He struggles to live honestly but continues to be haunted by his criminal past. He has an unusual encounter with a bishop who offers him a place to stay and a job in his town. Meanwhile, he must contend with the henchman of another man who wants revenge on Valjean for stealing from him years ago.

The above list of movies like The Duchess (2008) is perfect for anyone who is looking for a good film to watch on the weekend. Whether you’re into drama, romance or fantasy; there’s something here that will interest any movie lover. This in-depth article provides descriptions and reviews of each movie including their storyline, cast members, and awards they’ve won.

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