The Duke

The Duke, 2021, 3 ¼ stars

Stolen moments

Exclusive to MeierMovies, March 27, 2022

To embrace this enjoyable British comedy in advance, you need know little save its irresistible premise and cast: Jim Broadbent pinches a famous Goya painting from London’s National Gallery, with help from son Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk), while attempting to conceal the heist from wife Helen Mirren. The fact that the story is based on a real crime, supposedly perpetrated in 1961 by 60-year-old Kempton Bunton – his name alone encapsulates his well-intentioned buffoonery – adds even more appeal.

Directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill) and written by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman, The Duke (named for the pilfered painting, Portrait of the Duke of Wellington) is somewhat uneven and coasts on its charm rather than delivering any true dramatic or comedic revelations, save some sandwiched-in social commentary. But while it won’t exactly steal your heart, The Duke is a royal treat.

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This capsule review is part of my coverage of the 2022 Florida Film Festival. For more information about the event and an index of reviews of other festival films, go here. For more information on this movie, visit IMDB.