An unlikely art theft by a compassionate taxi driver over 60 years ago is now a fun dramedy starring British actors Dame Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent.
‘The Duke’, released in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, follows Kempton Bunton, 60, as he steals the portrait of the Duke of Wellington by Spanish master Francisco de Goya from the National Gallery in London in 1961 The thief sends ransom notes saying he will return the painting on the condition that the UK government invests more in elderly care.
“I didn’t know anything about this story. I was like, really? Did this really happen?” Mirren said. “That’s what makes it a great story. You can’t sell it as fiction,” Broadbent added.
Filming wrapped just before the COVID shutdowns in 2020. “I remember what filming was like. It was beautiful,” Broadbent said. “It was fun and it was a delight.”
“It was that last moment of freedom and easy access with each other,” Mirren added. Director Roger Michell died in September at the age of 65.
The film is part of the “Bring A Friend Back To The Movies” initiative by the Angelika Film Center in New York and Sony Pictures Classics to encourage audiences to return to the movies.
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