Sep 23
2021

Sad news today. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Roger Michell, the British stage, television and film director whose movies include the hit romcom Notting Hill, has died. He was 65. Michell’s family announced his death on Wednesday in a statement on Thursday. They didn’t disclose the place or cause of death. “It is with great sadness that the family of Roger Michell, director, writer and father of Harry, Rosie, Maggie and Sparrow, announce his death at the age of 65 on Sept. 22,” said the statement released through Michell’s publicist. Michell directed for British theaters including the Royal Court, the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and made acclaimed television series in the 1990s, including adaptations of Hanif Kureishi’s novel The Buddha of Suburbia and Jane Austen’s Persuasion. On the big screen, his biggest commercial hit was Notting Hill, the Richard Curtis-penned comedy about an awkward romance between a movie star played by Julia Roberts and a London bookshop owner, played by Hugh Grant. After its release in 1999 it was for a time the highest-grossing British film in history, and Michell followed it with Hollywood thriller Changing Lanes, starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson. But he largely made films in Britain, including Enduring Love, based on an Ian McEwan novel, and Venus, which gained Peter O’Toole an Academy Award nomination. Later films included Hyde Park on Hudson, a historical drama starring Bill Murray as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the upcoming The Duke, a real-life art heist story starring Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren. Michell is survived by ex-wives Kate Buffery and Anna Maxwell Martin, both actors, and by his four children.

Aug 14
2021

This one went by without me noticing it, so if you haven’t heard about it either, Pathé has moved next month’s theatrical release of Roger Mitchell’s “The Duke” to Spring 2022 on Twitter, citing the ongoing Pandemic for the move. As of now, it’s unclear if the film will be released in the United States next month or if this date will be changed as well. It’s not the first time for the true story comedy drama starring Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren, as “The Duke” was originally scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom on 6 November 2020, but Pathé eventually pushed back the movie to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been shown already at the Venice Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival. The exact new release date has not yet been announced.

Jul 30
2021

Lots of new video clips have been added to the video archive. Many international news outlets have posted their Cannes Film Festival interviews with Helen Mirren over the last couple of days. Helen has also participated in the new L’Oreal Light on Women Award at the festival. On the film front, a new featurette for “The Duke” has been released as well as a trailer for “On Broadway”, which releases August 20 in theaters, and which features interviews with Helen, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Christine Baranski and many more. Screencaptures from all interviews have been added to the photo gallery. To watch all added video clips, have a look at the complete list below the previews. Enjoy watching.



Related Media:

Video Archive – Career Videos – The Duke – “The Duke” Featurette
Video Archive – Miscellaneous – L’Oreal Light on Women Award (July 25, 2021)
Video Archive – News Segments – Scoop with Raya (July 25, 2021)
Video Archive – News Segments – Canal Plus (July 09, 2021)
Video Archive – News Segments – France 24 (July 08, 2021)
Video Archive – News Segments – Access (July 07, 2021)
Video Archive – News Segments – Extra (July 05, 2021)
Video Archive – Miscellaenous – “On Broadway” Documentary
Video Archive – Award Shows – 44th Premio Barocco Festival (2013)

May 28
2021

PatheUK has debuted a new trailer for the comedy ‘The Duke’ starring Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren. The film follows a true story that celebrates a man who was determined to live a meaningful life. Set in 1961, it follows the story of Kempton Bunton, a 60-year old taxi driver, who stole 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 proceeded to send ransom notes declaring that he would only return the painting on the condition that the government invest more in care for the elderly, specifically bringing attention to his long-running campaign for pensioners to receive free television. What happened next is the stuff of legends…only 50 years later did the full story emerge and it was revealed that Kempton had spun a web of lies. The only truth was that he was a good man, determined to change the world and save his marriage – how and why he used the Duke to achieve this, is a wonderfully uplifting tale that will be seen on film for the first time. The film hits UK cinemas on September 3rd.

Sep 05
2020

The story of an ex-bus driver and cabbie from Newcastle upon Tyne who was accused of executing one of the most infamous heists in British history has been given a starring role at this year’s Venice film festival. “The Duke”, which stars Jim Broadbent as the unlikely art “thief” Kempton Bunton and Helen Mirren as his wife, premiered on the Lido on Friday (Helen did not attend the festival) and has received some wonderful positive reviews from the world press. Here’s a selection:

The Telegraph, Robbie Collin (September 04, 20209)
The Duke is that rarest of things: a comedy that knows a twinkle in the eye and a fire in the belly needn’t be mutually exclusive. Although the England it depicts disappeared half a century ago, it speaks mindfully and movingly to our own divided times – asking how institutions should best serve the public that funds them, and speaking up for those who find themselves excluded by class, geography or birth. However long the 2021 Baftas and Oscars end up being postponed – the current plan is April – this wise and wry film should be a non-negotiable presence at both. So too, in person, should be Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren, who give two of the finest performances of their careers here as Kempton and Dorothy, his wife. The pair are soulmates in many ways and opposites in others, but both clearly learned long ago how to rub along together in curmudgeonly accord. (You can see every year of their marriage in Broadbent and Mirren’s interplay on screen.)

The Guardian, Xan Brooks (September 04, 20209)
All rise for The Duke, a scrappy underdog yarn that makes a powerful case for the rackety English amateur, the common man who survives by his wits with the odds stacked against him. Kempton Bunton of Byker, for instance, is about as far removed from the Duke of Wellington as a frog is from a prince. What a lovely, rousing, finally moving film this is. The Duke is unashamedly sentimental and resolutely old-fashioned in the best sense of the term: a design classic built along the same lines as That Sinking Feeling, A Private Function or 50s Ealing comedies.

Screen Interantional, Fionnuala Halligan (September 05, 20209)
As a film, The Duke sits manifestly in its own genre as well; there’s no doffing the cap to any newfangled modernity here. Michell’s film is as defiantly traditional as the ghastly wallpaper which decorates the Bunton’s house. There’s a suspicion, as Kenton speechifies in the dock about how we all need to help each other in order to get out of the situation we’re stuck in, that this is some sort of Brexit rallying cry, Spirit of the Blitz etc. But perhaps that’s just the sort of remoaner nonsense that can be fixed by a fish and chip supper and a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale. Broadbent’s considerable charisma as a prototype social justice warrior is just about enough to pull the rag-and-bone cart home on a film which becomes more defiantly contrived as it goes on. This type of silver-pound caper plays consistently well in the UK, though, and The Duke should follow suit (if, perhaps, a little more hastily onto the small screen, given the times and the target demographic).

The Hollywood Reporter, Deborah Young (September 04, 20209)
A funny-moving story enjoyably retold with classic British understatement and just the right twist at the end, The Duke is the account of an incredible true event from 1961, when a man from the working-class north of England climbed through a bathroom window into London’s National Gallery one night and stole a valuable painting of the Duke of Wellington by Francisco Goya. Mirren gives the sharp-tongued, resentful Dorothy interest and depth, but she’s not the focus of the story. Understatement and off-handedness remain the key to the film and even if the trial leaves one a little choked up and teary, there is still a great gag to come: the scene from Dr. No in which James Bond is startled to see a certain painting in the antagonist’s living room. Now we know why he looks so surprised.

Variety, Guy Lodge (September 04, 20209)
If the filmmaking is occasionally a tad too cute, Broadbent and Mirren – two fine actors who can, under the wrong direction, lean into fussiness — do well to keep things restrained. Together, they convincingly play an unspoken, stiff-upper-lipped distance in their characters’ marriage that fills in some of the script’s gaps. Broadbent gives Bunton’s scrappy, upbeat spirit the right undertow of sorrow and been-to-the-brink desperation, and if a few too many of Mirren’s scenes simply require her to find fresh ways of tut-tutting, her gradual thaw to her husband’s cause is finely delineated and moving. “The Duke” is a romp first and foremost: Michell’s merry direction makes sure of that. But its stars put a small, dignified lump in its throat.