Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Keira Knightley in The Duchess

In the new film, The Duchess, Keira Knightley gives a mesmerizing performance as Genevieve Spencer, an ancestor of Princess Diana, who was Lady Spencer before her marriage to Prince Charles. Jeremy Irons brilliantly brings to life the rich old duke who arranges to marry her. It reminded me of his brilliant performance in "Reversal of Fortune." Both actors create characters who have layers of complexity. I felt that Keira was "channeling" Princess Diana--I saw in her the same paradoxical shyness and social brilliance, that strange mix of intimacy and mystery.  And the story of this duchess bears eerie similarities the Diana's own.  
Don't read a synopsis before you see it. Let the story surprise you.