We are proud to close our 29th Chichester International Film Festival with the special preview of this superb British film, starring Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren, which premiered in last year’s Venice Film Festival. Roger Mitchell’s warm take on the true story of how Kempton Bunton acquired the National Gallery’s new Goya, features a glorious performance by Broadbent.
In 1961, Kempton Bunton, a 60-year-old taxi driver, stole Goya's portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. He sent ransom notes saying that he would return the painting on condition that the government invested more in care for the elderly. What happened next became the stuff of legend. Broadbent’s wonderful Kempton Bunton is a wannabe playwright and soapbox revolutionary, a man who prefers Chekhov to Shakespeare because he feels that the Bard wrote too many plays about kings.
By night he is sitting up in bed reading books by George Orwell. By day he is tilting at windmills, squabbling with shop-floor managers and getting under the feet of his pinched, knackered wife (a wonderfully un-regal Hellen Mirren).
An uplifting true story about a good man who set out to change the world and managed to save his marriage. 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: a design classic built along the same lines as 50’s Ealing comedies.
Our sincere thanks to Warner Bros for this screening.
Gala Tickets £34
Sun 29 Aug: Gala Dinner 18:30 - film at 20:30 approx
Also screening Sun 29 Aug 10:30