I went to see the Duke last night: such a treat. Of course, it’s open to the accusation of being over-sentimental and caricaturing those northerners from Newcastle and the smooth ways of Londoners who spend money on art, but I didn’t think any the worse for that. I knew some of the story, but certainly not all of it and not the twist at the end, revealing, as I now discover is true, that it wasn’t Kempton Bunton who stole the painting after all, but his son, John, who, as the film reveals, subsequently confessed, but wasn’t prosecuted as an unreliable witness. They showed a picture of Michael Levey as if he was the Director at the time, whereas it was Philip Hendy, but the film is not intended as factual, but a funny, entertaining romance, true in spirit and true to Jeremy Hutchinson’s successful defence of Bunton.
So sad that it was Roger Michell’s last film, not least because he was working on a celebration of seventy years of the Queen for her platinum jubilee, which I hope was sufficiently finished before his death still to be seen.