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  • Writer's pictureEllis Barthorpe

The Duke ★★★

Roger Michell

Starring Jim Broadbent, Helen Mirren, Matthew Goode, Fionn Whitehead, Aimee Kelly

A heartfelt British comedy is sometimes just what the doctor ordered, and Roger Michell's The Duke is the next in line to try and steal our hearts and make us laugh all in a neat 96 minutes.

In this true story, Jim Broadbent plays Kempton Bunton, an 80 year old who is always losing jobs to try and stand up for what he believes in. To make the case for a previous activist movement, he steals Goya's portrait of The Duke of Wellington.

What ensues from here is fairly light hearted and easy watching, but it almost feels like it wants to be darker or funnier than it is. It doesn't ever set on an overall tone and for that reason things feel muddled.

Broadbent is excellent as the lead, and it's his relationship with wife Dorothy, played gloriously by Helen Mirren, that holds the film at its centre. The two do not falter in their performance and are supported by a tremendous cast of actors.

The court scene is the standout, and to be honest the film would've benefitted from spending more time there. It really shows Kempton's character in all its glory and shows why the story is such a loveable one.

Feeling more bothered about being quintessentially British than anything else, this lacks any sort of punch but lets an audience leave with their hearts warmed.

The Duke available in select cinemas now

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