A delightful true-crime caper told in flashback from Bunton’s trial where he stands accused of stealing a portrait of the Duke of Wellington by Goya from the National Gallery. Bunton has previously been jailed for not paying his TV licence and he is incensed that the gallery has just paid thousands for the Goya.
Having stolen the painting, he ransoms it in return for free licences for the elderly. But there’s more at work than just a caper.
It’s also the story of a marriage that’s been near-irrevocably damaged by the loss of a child. Nevertheless, Broadbent’s droll take on a modern Robin Hood is a comedic masterclass.
Helen Mirren is a hoot as his long-suffering wife and director Roger Mitchell captures grimy 60s north-east Britain with aplomb. What a lovely, rousing, finally moving film this is. 'The Duke' is unashamedly sentimental and resolutely old-fashioned in the best sense of the term.
We were honoured to be the first cinema in the UK to screen this film as during the 2021 Chichester International Film Festival.
5 stars from The Telegraph and The Guardian.