A young noblewoman marries into one of Britain's most powerful families and becomes the toast of London in The Duchess. The story chronicles the life of 18th century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (Knightley), who was reviled for her extravagant political and personal lives. She is a vibrant beauty and celebrity of her time, but she is trapped in an unhappy triangle with her husband and his live-in mistress. She falls passionately in love with an ambitious young politician, and the affair causes a bitter conflict with her husband and threatens to erupt into a scandal. Based on the book Georgina, Duchess Of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman. (Gary Reber)
Special features include How Far She Went...Making The Duchess, a six-part documentary (HD 22:48); the Georgina In Her Own Words featurette (HD 7:11); a costume diary (HD :37); and two theatrical trailers depicting previews of the movie.
The 1080p AVC 2.35:1 picture quality is stunning, with a natural color pallette and excellent contrast. Blacks are deep and solid, and shadow delineation is superb, even in the low candlelight. Fleshtones are perfectly natural and accurate. Resolution is superb, revealing fine facial texture and intricate garment details. The costumes are fascinating and will certainly be fully appreciated. The imagery is three-dimensional throughout, with a wonderful spectrum of lighting and beautiful cinematography. Reference quality throughout, this is delightful picture with an overall warm feel and resolution that will keep your eyes glued to the screen. (Gary Reber)
The Dolby® TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack is well recorded, with subtle effects and excellent Foley integration. Surround envelopment is pretty much limited to the symphonic string orchestral recording and otherwise subtle effects. Occasionally, there is a deep, strong bass pronouncement for effect in the LFE .1 channel. Essentially, the sound is front-soundstage-predominant throughout. Without the music, the sound, at times, collapses to virtual monaural without the support of the stereo and surround channels for spatial integration. Such is the case with the ADR-recorded dialogue. Still, for the most part, the sound relates nicely to the scenes, with the music creating an emotional, romantic feeling. (Gary Reber)