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I have watched Marie Antoinette dozens of times but I had never seen The Duchess. I got them both for Christmas (Eve!) and the beauty of Marie still took my breath away. Sofia Coppola never ceases to impress me with her beautiful films. I loved The Duchess as well, but not nearly as much. It is full to the brim with tragedy and passion. It is, in my opinion, better plot oriented than Marie, and less focused on aesthetic, but no less fabulous for it. While Marie is set primarily in France, The Duchess takes place in England, both take a look at the lives of aristocratic women of the past, as well as taking a unique angle on both stories. Perhaps I just have a soft spot for films in these eras. While neither movie is particularly groundbreaking or original the beautiful costuming and scenery set them apart in my mind as favorites. The Duchess is the first film by Saul Dibb that I have seen, but I definitely enjoyed it. However, Marie will probably end up in my dvd player more so than Duchess. I recommend them both!
photo is my own.