The world premiere took place at the festival on Friday and the reviews have been very positive.   Matthew plays defence barrister Jeremy Hutchinson.   We are adding some extracts from a 5/5 review in The Telegraph below.

The Duke review, Venice Film Festival 2020: Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent shine in this zingy Ealing-style caper


Roger Michell’s fim about the real-life theft of a Goya masterpiece proves they do make ’em like they used to, and Oscars surely beckon

Cert tbc, 96 min. Dir: Roger Michell; Starring: Jim Broadbent, Helen Mirren, Fionn Whitehead, Anna Maxwell Martin, Matthew Goode, Jack Bandeira

Everything about Kempton Bunton is improbable. For one thing, his name. For another, the fact that in 1961, at the age of 57, he allegedly broke into the National Gallery in London, stole Francisco Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington, then took it home to Newcastle and hid it in a wardrobe, hoping to use it to blackmail the Macmillan government into funding free TV licences for pensioners.

Bunton’s absurd-but-true quest has the unmistakable zing of a classic Ealing caper – and it has now been wonderfully adapted by director Roger Michell and screenwriters Richard Bean and Clive Coleman into a film that could stand alongside the very best of them.

The Duke, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Thursday evening, is that rarest of things: a comedy that knows a twinkle in the eye and a fire in the belly needn’t be mutually exclusive. Although the England it depicts disappeared half a century ago, it speaks mindfully and movingly to our own divided times – asking how institutions should best serve the public that funds them, and speaking up for those who find themselves excluded by class, geography or birth. However long the 2021 Baftas and Oscars end up being postponed – the current plan is April – this wise and wry film should be a non-negotiable presence at both.

So too, in person, should be Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren, who give two of the finest performances of their careers here as Kempton and Dorothy, his wife. The pair are soulmates in many ways and opposites in others, but both clearly learned long ago how to rub along together in curmudgeonly accord. (You can see every year of their marriage in Broadbent and Mirren’s interplay on screen.)

There is considerable fun to be had in watching Kempton’s scheme unravel, particularly since it was barely ravelled in the first place. The Ealing feel is only enhanced by Matthew Goode, who could be channeling Alec Guinness as Kempton’s barrister, while George Fenton’s playful, jazz-driven score matches the screenplay’s wit step for step.


The Duke premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 4, and will be released in UK cinemas in early 2021

Posted by britgirl on September 6th, 2020 under Movie Projects with 0 Comments

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