THE DUKE MOVIE REVIEW
Truth is so very often stranger than fiction, and that’s why true events sometimes make truly fantastic films. And when you have the likes of British acting royalty such as Dame Helen Mirren, Jim Broadbent, and direction from the wonderful Roger Michell (Notting Hill), you’re in such capable hands, it would almost be a challenge to make a bad film. Luckily for Mindy, Jena, Chad, and T.C., The Duke is far from bad. In fact, the squad all agrees it is effortlessly charming, even if one of the gang kept falling asleep watching it. In 1961, there was a theft from the National Gallery of an portrait of the Duke of Wellington. The heist became a national headline with assumptions of notorious art thieves and an intricately executed plot to steal the priceless work of art. The fact was that the elderly Kempton Bunton did it with very little effort, though quite a lot of gumption. Kempton was a working man who fancied himself a playwright and a Robin Hood whose adamant beliefs for the rights of the lower classes and elderly constantly got him fired from every job he held. His wife Dorothy was a maid and did her best to maintain her wits, keeping track of her husband and their son, while still coping with the death of their teen daughter. The film opens with Bunton in front of the judge for his crimes, so there is no doubt he was caught. What is uncertain is how he ended up there and how he’ll manage to charm and cheek his way through a very public trail that became a pop culture touchstone of the era.
DIRECTED BY: Roger Michell
STARRING: Jim Broadbent, Helen Mirren, Fionn Whitehead, Matthew Goode, Anna Maxwell Martin, Jack Bandeira, Aimée Kelly, Joshua McGuire, Charlotte Spencer, John Heffernan, Andrew Havill, James Wilby, Heather Craney, Richard McCabe, Charles Edwards, Sian Clifford
T.C. De Witt (Screener Squad)
T.C. De Witt is a multi-awarded writer/director originally from Wisconsin and now based in Los Angeles. His life has been devoted to the arts since he was a child. He’s been a stage performer, playwright, stand-up comic, film and television actor, radio DJ, podcaster published author, recorded musician, and comic writer/illustrator. He is now a professional screenwriter and has been thriving for the past decade, regularly offering his talents to production studios in LA, Chicago, Milwaukee, and internationally in Sydney and Poland. He’s provided content for Amazon Prime, Netflix, and several YouTube partners. His films have screened internationally, and his stageplays have been performed across the country. In the last ten years, he has directed 57 films, 23 episodes of his series The One Minute Rewatch, 300+ episodes of podcasts, and his multi-award-winning short film Screen: Righter screened at the Festival de Cannes in 2016. He has released two feature films, The Princess Knight and A Christmas Sunset. He thrives on collaboration and the thrill of sharing stories in all forms.
Mindy Rast-Keenan (Screener Squad, Highly Suspect Reviews)
Having grown up in Nairobi, Kenya, and being very disappointed at the lack of riding elephants her cartoons had promised her, Mindy spends the majority of her time as a film, theater, and voice over actress in the Austin, Texas area. They still give her money for being on HBO that one time, with her name in the credits spelled wrong. A nerdy geek, this award-winning actress joined One of Us figuring she’d put her summa cum laude BFA acting degree to good use…by judging other people’s acting. In the few seconds she gets to herself, Mindy bakes for charity, knits eccentric plushies, plays original RPG’s with her gamemaster husband, and spends time with her soulmate, Batman.
Jena Perry (Screener Squad)
Jena Perry. Aka Luna. Aka Dion. Aka Memori. Aka Dog whisperer. Aka whiskey connoisseur. As you can see, depending on when you met this Oakland, California native, you have experienced a completely different person, each time. After finally deciding on a 13+year career choice as a Videographer and Radio Personality, Jena balances her time between pursuing her Doctorate in Philosophy, providing insightful and funny critiques on films and Television, raising her daughter and dog in Ohio, and constantly fighting off the existential dread that is being a dope black woman in America in the 20th century.
Chad Halvorsen (Screener Squad)
Chad Halvorsen currently resides in Milwaukee, WI, where he produces and edits commercials, films, and everything in between. He was always a fan of film/television growing up, spending days in the Summer, making (terrible) home movies with his brothers. Little did he know that passion would carry on into adulthood. Since 2006, Chad has worked for several agencies in various departments. Shooting, producing, editing, production management, directing, and when forced to, writing copy. In 2015, Chad decided to take the big leap and become a freelancer. Since then, he’s produced content for Lyft, AT&T, Target, and Discovery Network. His passion lies in entertaining people, making them feel better, even for a moment. All the pain and suffering of this business is worth it, if even just one person views his work. Chad is a frequent podcaster, most notably posing as a co-host for the podcast “The Film Illogical Society.”
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