Oscars surely beckon… 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 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… 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. Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren...give two of the finest performances of their careers.
All rise for The Duke… Roger Michell’s delightful true-crime caper comes bolstered by a terrific lead performance from Jim Broadbent… What a lovely, rousing, finally moving film this is. The Duke is unashamedly sentimental and resolutely old-fashioned in the best sense of the term
Helen Mirren, Jim Broadbent and an art heist yarn that will steal your heart… It's a quirky but stirring tale, beautifully scripted by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman, while director Roger Michell brings the same sureness of comedic touch he applied to the likes of Notting Hill and Venus… [Anna Maxwell Martin is as ] terrific as ever…Matthew Goode adds further class as the urbane defence barrister Jeremy Hutchinson… But it’s Broadbent and Mirren who are the beating heart of this delightful film.
Broadbent at his best… The spirit of Frank Capra bounces buoyantly back to life in this feelgood dramedy about provincial nobodies versus big city slickers that could easily have been retitled Mr Bunton Goes to London… Based on the true-life tale of Kempton Bunton… it is really the story of an eccentric optimist who teaches an unfeeling world about the importance of human connection. The screenplay luxuriates in scene setting and character building [and] … bristles with vibrant detail. Broadbent is astounding… one of the standout performances of his career. Roger Michell should also take a bow. With The Duke, he is marked out as one of the country’s most versatile mainstream filmmakers
It’s such an expertly crafted and highly polished piece of warmhearted escapism that it’s difficult to resist. This is the kind of British film with international appeal: the venerable cast, genial tone, inspirational story, and mischievous English eccentricity are all present and correct.
Jim Broadbent Will Charm You Senseless In ‘The Duke’ … You could dine on nothing but lard for twenty years and still not develop the hardness of heart necessary to avoid being won over by Roger Michell‘s “The Duke,” a ridiculously charming British comedy….“The Duke” is proudly old-fashioned, satisfying family entertainment: bring your mum and your gran.