Spoiler Points for The Duchess (2008)

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Spoiler Points for The Duchess (2008) [PG-13] 110 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $13.25
DVD Release Date: Unscheduled (please check back)
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Spoiler Points for The Duchess (2008)

If you dozed off a big and awoke to find a gigantic feathered creature eating the top of Keira Knightley's head causing you to run screaming from the theatre, this detailed spoiler for The Duchess is just for you.

• The Duke of Devonshire (Ralph Fiennes) grows more and more angry that his wife, the Duchess Georgiana (Keira Knightley) has yet to deliver him a male heir. [The horrible and sad irony of this male heir business in English royalty is, of course, what we know now that the gender of the child is determined by the male not the female in the paring and how many wives suffered or even died because of this gross misunderstanding.]
• At a party, the Duchess meets Lady Elizabeth Foster (Hayley Atwell) with whom she becomes fast friends. The two 'fool' around a bit and Georgiana allows the Duke to come to the conclusion that he should let her stay on in their home for a while until she gets settled. Apparently, she doesn't see that she's setting up her husband's next mistress for him given that Foster is driven by one and only one thing, using the Duke's power to get her children back from her previous husband.
• Together, this new threesome takes in a play, and afterwards, Georgiana's eye catches the gaze of Charles Grey (Dominic Cooper) the dashing young man recently elected to parliament. They talk and fall in love—he's been in love with her forever.
• The Duchess offers to help Grey with his political campaigning, and he accepts knowing that she'll draw bigger crowds than he ever could.
• She returns home to find her husband in the throes of passion with Lady Foster. She's so hurt, she want Lady Foster gone, thrown out of the house, never to be seen again. But, the Duke won't hear of it. He's happy with this arrangement. Her mother, Lady Spencer (Charlotte Rampling) convinces her to return to fulfill her wifely duties. Elizabeth explains she did it only to use the Duke for his power to get her children back, which he does and they arrive shortly. The Duke is thrilled to have some little boys around, but he desperately wants his own.
• Distraught, the Duchess travels to see Charles Grey. He makes insightful observations about her character, "That she seeks to please others so that they will lover her," and the two begin to kiss.
• At breakfast, seated at opposite ends of the table with Lady Foster in the middle, Georgiana asks the Duke if he's in love with Lady Foster. She then suggests a deal. He can keep his mistress if she's allowed to keep her new love for Charles Grey. But, the Duke doesn't make deals, he doesn't have to. He can have it all. He threatens to put a bullet in Grey's head if Grey's fooling around with his wife. She flees, but he chases her down and rapes her. He then demands she bear him and heir and to do as he says.
• She does what he says and attends a party. Her hair catches on fire because she's so upset she gets drunk and backs into a candle. The Duke is very embarrassed. The doctor tells the Duke she needs rest because she's pregnant. She delivers at last his male heir, William George Spencer Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire. The Duke gives her an enormous sum of money to spend as she likes. The Duke goes to London to celebrate, and suddenly Charles Grey shows up at a party in Devonshire. He claims he was invited. Turns out he was, by Lady Foster. The two make mad passionate love in her chambers.
• The Duke returns, and Georgiana suggests she wants to go to Bath to relax. She secretly intends to meet up with Charles. The Duke approves of her departure.
• She meets up with Charles as planned, but the Duke and Lady Spencer arrive unexpectedly. They know about the affair and are there to stop it. The Duke threatens her: (a) he'll ensure that Charles Grey never gets another dime from anyone anywhere in the Kingdom closing the door on his aspirations of becoming Prime Minister, and (b) she will never see her children again. At first, she's willing to make both sacrifices. He says, "You're making the mistake of your life." She retorts, "I've already made that." But, then when she reads the letters he's brought from their children, she cannot do it. She hurries back to Devonshire to resume her duties and accept her fate. The Duke is happy and says that her mother called it.
• Charles shows up during dinner and demands to see her. She leaves the table and tells him that they cannot be together. He's furious and begs her to leave, but she won't, she has to put her children first. She returns to the table and announces she's carrying Charles's baby. The Duke is furious, but he arranges for her and Lady Foster to leave for the country to have the baby and then turn it over to the Grey family which they do. At the exchange, she tells General Grey that the baby girl is named Eliza.
• Later at a party, Georgiana runs into Charles Grey. He's engaged to be married and mentions he has a new little niece named Eliza that she's welcome to come visit any time.
• The film ends!
• subtitles indicate:
• • Charles Grey goes on to become Prime Minister, and
• • the Duke, Duchess, and Lady Foster live together until the Duchess dies when she then weds the Duke.

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