7:30 PM, 3rd June, 2022
In 1961, Spanish artist Francisco Goya’s ‘Portrait of the Duke of Wellington’ was stolen from the National Gallery in London. Nobody knew who had taken the portrait and this led to much speculation, including a cameo appearance in Dr. No’s headquarters in the 1962 James Bond film.
The Duke is based on the story of what happened to the painting. Instead of the originally suspected major international crime syndicate, we are introduced to Kempton Bunton (Jim Broadbent), a working class, 60-year-old taxi driver. Bunton was committed to rectifying social injustices, particularly in relation to care for the elderly, a crusade which impacted upon his marriage to Dorothy (Helen Mirren). At his trial, Bunton would plead not guilty to the theft of the painting. Who really stole the portrait?
This is the penultimate film directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill), who passed away in September 2021. His final film, Elizabeth: A Portrait in Part(s), screens later this season on June 25.