Opening the Festival in 2021 is the delightful true-crime caper and underdog tale The Duke, starring the excellent Jim Broadbent (BFF20 Six Minutes to Midnight, King of Thieves) and Helen Mirren (BFF19 The Good Liar).
In 1961, 60-year-old taxi driver Kempton Bunton (Broadbent) steals Goya's portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. It was the first (and remains the only) theft in the Gallery’s history.
Kempton tries to ransom the painting, offering to return it on the condition that the government invests more in care for the elderly - he has long campaigned for pensioners to receive free television - while his downtrodden wife (Mirren) tries to keep up appearances. What happened next became the stuff of legend and only 50 years later did the full story emerge.
Much admired director Roger Michell’s (Notting Hill, My Cousin Rachel) final feature film, The Duke is a highly entertaining and uplifting true story about a good man who set out to change the world while trying to save his marriage.