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The Duke (12A) Borderlines Film Festival

4th March 2022 - 10th March 2022

 

This sharp and brilliant shaggy dog tale is a perfect vehicle for Jim Broadbent’s uncontainable magnetism, and a fitting swansong for his Le Week-end director, sadly departed Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Enduring Love).

1961: Kempton Bunton (Broadbent) is easing reluctantly into retirement. Much to his wife Dorothy’s (Helen Mirren) chagrin, Kempton wages a one-man war on the BBC licence fee collectors, eventually landing him in prison. Not one to let a grudge lie, he launches a mission to abolish the licence fee for pensioners. The purchase of Goya’s “Portrait of the Duke of Wellington” from the public coffers triggers him off on a caper as improbable as it is drawn from life.

AD Audio Description available
ST Subtitled Screening: 10th March, 5pm

DIRECTOR: Roger Michell
STARRING: Jim Broadbent, Helen Mirren, Anna Maxwell Martin
UK, 2020
1 HOUR 35 MINUTES
CERT 12A

Details

Start:
4th March 2022
End:
10th March 2022
Event Categories:
, , ,

Venue

Cinema
United Kingdom

Other

Price:
£7.50/£8.50 (Premium seats)
Concessions and members discounts apply
Show Times:
*Please note: film starts at advertised time*
Fri 4th March at 2pm & 7.45pm
Sat 5th March at 11am & 7.45pm
Sun 6th March at 2pm & 7.45pm
Mon 7th March at 2pm & 7.45pm
Tues 8th March at 10.30am & 5pm
Wed 9th March at 2pm & 5pm
Thurs 10th March at 2pm & 5pm (Subtitled SCreening)

Event Reviews

  • Richard Edmonds

    The 2022 programme for this enterprising film festival is showing
    world cinema in all its various forms. The festival is far-reaching and takes
    in Malvern Festival Theatres ( and was there ever a more comfortable and
    luxurious cinema than the one you find at Malvern?), taking in cinemas at
    Hereford, Hay-on-Wy which uses Richard Booths Bookshop) Ludlow Assembly Rooms and
    Flicks In The Sticks, who must be somewhere around, but where exactly I am
    not sure..
    I hurried to Malvern for showing of the much talked about "The Duke" which,
    at the moment, seems to have caught the interest of the nation since everyone
    is buzzing about it at the moment.
    I was not disappointed, since the film's plot is developed by that fine actor
    Jim Broadbent, who eludes categorization. Broadbent is joined by the superb Helen
    Mirren ( no longer the sumptuously beautiful Mirren I remember as Cressida in a
    1960s RSC "Troilus and Cressida" but here seen Broadbent's grumpy, ageing wife, in a charity
    shop hat and coat).
    Together these two gently compatible gifted actors take us through the poignant tale
    of Kempton Burton, a man from a Northern back street, easing peacefully into retirement,
    who takes it upon himself to wage war upon the BBC tv licence collectors, something
    which ends in disaster both for himself and as a consequence for his wife Dorothy ( Helen
    Mirren).
    In the Burton sixties household, social conscience rules with an imperious hand. Kempton
    sees the plight of pensioners unable to afford a tv licence. He campaigns for social rights
    and is quite capable of sitting in a deserted street in pouring rain holding a rain-drenched
    placard which tells all and sundry what is wrong with the government, and thus seeks to
    awaken the conscience of passers-by--which it doesn't, of course as it never did.
    My great aunt was a Suffragette, and was chained to the railings in London along with Mrs
    Pankhurst. But it was years before women were given the right to vote, and in the same way
    it would be many years before Kempton's fight bore fruit and free tv licences were granted
    to pensioners.
    None of this political activity fits in with Dorothy's thinking. She abhors what Kempton is
    doing, although there is a kind of exasperated admiration for a husband whose idealistic
    ambitions far outstrip the circumstances of his day to day job packing bread in a bakery.
    Kempton and Dorothy's home life has perceptibly fallen into the usual middle age conundrum of where has
    our marriage gone, existing as they do in a dreary house, where Dorothy takes out her
    frustrations on the lavatory brush as she scrubs away in a clever symbolic frenzy down
    the lavatory pan.
    But it is the much admired purchase from the national coffers of Goya's "Portrait of
    the Duke of Wellington", which ignites Kempton's revolutionary zeal. Why spend public
    money on a picture, when old people are deprived of a tv licence, he asks. The wealthy toffs
    in public office, behave with indifference, as the toffs in public office generally do, which is
    when Kempton puts his nutty plan into action.
    What that plan is exactly, wild horses would not drag from me, but rest assured it
    makes this a delightful film well worth a journey.
    I travelled 60 miles with my film buff son to see it and I do not regret a moment.
    I also note that the cinema was very well attended and that the popcorn gets better.


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