In his sixties, Kempton Bunton is not a model husband – or a dutiful citizen. But no one notices his campaign for pensioners to have free BBC television. Until 1961, when he steals Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington, for which he believes the British National Gallery paid an absurdly high price. His act quickly became the stuff of legend, as did his predilection for vivid explanations. Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren star in an energetic true-life story in the best tradition of British comedy.
The son of a British diplomat, he spent part of his childhood in Prague. He began directing in the theatre, then on television, and made his film debut in 1996. He has made the popular romantic comedy Notting Hill (1999) and several films based on scripts by Hanif Kureishi (Mother, 2003, Venus, 2006). The Duke, which enjoyed success at Venice 2020, ended up being his final film – he died of a heart attack in September 2021 at the age of 65.
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