‘Notting Hill’ director returns with a little comic gem

More than twenty years after “Notting Hill” boxed in, its director Roger Mitchell returns with a little gem of comedy, unearthing the most comical theft in United Kingdom history: the 1961 Goya painting at the National Gallery Theft, by the most sympathetic gentleman. Meet !

Where did the idea to make a film on Goya’s loot from the National Gallery come from?

Roger Mitchell
: “I received a scenario of this news, which I knew nothing about. Surprisingly, no one in England knew this story, even though it made a lot of noise at the time. Entry into popular culture To the extent of doing so, for example a wink taken in ‘James Bond Against Doctor No.’ in 1962. We can see (laughs) a painting of Goya hanging on the villain’s historic wall. In short, the story was new to me , and the twists that compose the scenario mesmerized me. »

The story is progressing to its brighter side, but it works above all to talk about the grief of a father…

“It was written like that from the beginning. I also had to remove some of the dialogue so that these two layers of the story, the heist of the century and the inspiration of the characters, would better intertwine and unite. When the film opens, we see Kempton Bunton as a happy loser, but with a spirited disposition. I wanted us to slowly explore their pain and therefore their motivation. It creates more emotion without being artificial. ,

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What was the reaction of Banton’s family after watching the film?

“Very good! His son Jackie, who was in it with Kempton in 1961, loved the film. He told us how much his family appreciated our attention to detail. He listened. »

Tell us about your choice for casting!

“We all agreed that we would make the film only when Jim Broadbent (seen in ‘Bridget Jones’, ‘Moulin Rouge’, editor’s note) accepted the role. The producers were already thinking of him before I came. There are scenes where I didn’t even have to direct it! The role fits her like a glove. For Helen Mirren (seen in ‘The Queen’, editor’s note), we told ourselves she wouldn’t want the role But apparently the queens’ characters aren’t going to pique her interest (laughs)! She jumped at the chance, slipping into this housewife’s skin with great seriousness and ease.

In terms of its working class set in the 1960s, can we qualify the film as socialist?

“We’re in the tradition of ‘Ealing comedies,’ you know? It’s a comedy series that was shot in a studio called Ealing in the early sixties. These films were part of the ‘New Britain’ movement, which Time focused on principles such as support for unions, workers and the Left in general, when the country was rebuilding itself. So it was mostly about ordinary people facing the power to spread the truth. I clearly wanted to establish ‘The Duke’ in line with this distinctive style, both in its tone and its sociological purpose. »

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We’re tempted to say that this is a generally British film. What do you think?

“It’s a fairly basic British story, to be sure, it celebrates one person’s singularity. But I hope it will resonate outside of our island as well. Especially because of the pandemic that we’ve just had.” have experienced, and because of the disdain that the middle class has sometimes felt from the authorities. The fight hurt a lot, but I think it is still an opportunity to wake up and realize that mutual aid has always been our political Decisions should be part of it. I also think people want to laugh. Everyone, not just Englishmen. That’s why the public reaction is so hot. He reacts to the relative lightness of the plot, while picking up on more societal views that It’s a happy coincidence for me, who likes to tell boring stories (laughs).

Our review of Duke

Attention, crush! Twenty years after “Notting Hill,” director Roger Mitchell is once again showcasing his talent for wrapping up stories that are subtler than they appear in the slickness of feel-good entertainment. We follow the eccentric Kempton Bunton (the brilliant Jim Broadbent), a Newcastle activist who is playing with fire through his campaigns against the authorities, tirelessly championing the interests of the common man. His wife (Helen Mirren) and his son play the game until this simple man decides to steal a Goya painting from the National Gallery! There is turmoil all over the country, the government traces the supporter who did it, and our good humor explodes in this game of cat and mouse, as socialist as it is. The British charm of “The Duke” works immediately, and the impressive fluidity of the staging keeps us in suspense until the very end. Definitely one of the best comedies of the year! (If)

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About the Author: Rusty Kemp

Tv ninja. Lifelong analyst. Award-winning music evangelist. Professional beer buff. Incurable zombie specialist.

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