Bank of Dave (2023)

Bank of Dave (2023)

A satisfying feel-good film about the real-life businessman who spearheaded reform in the UK’s banking sector



United Kingdom
Comedy, Drama
Adrian Lukis, Angus Wright, Cathy Tyson
107 min


It’s so enjoyable, I didn’t realize I was cheering for a businessman-banker and his bigshot lawyer until long after the movie ended.

What it's about

Based on a true story, the film follows local businessman Dave (Rory Kinnear) as he tries to set up a community bank in the small town of Burnley, much to the chagrin of elitist financiers in London.

The take

Bank of Dave is a simple but well-told film that feels utterly satisfying from start to end. Dave is the little guy who only wants to give back to his community, but stopping him from achieving his noble goals are the big guys in suits with vested interests and too narrow a focus to appreciate the good that Dave is after. The film is David versus Goliath, countryside versus cityside, socialist versus capitalist (or, if you like, ethical capitalism versus unethical capitalism). You know who will triumph in the end, but that doesn’t detract from the film’s overall enjoyability. The dialogue is smart and stirring, and you can’t help but root for the film’s small heroes to win big. 

What stands out

Apart from being an inspirational and feel-good movie, Bank of Dave is a great legal drama to boot. The film’s most compelling scene takes place in court, with Dave’s lawyer Hugh (Joel Fry) defending the small town of Burnley with all his might. I won’t spoil it, but the build-up is just as impressive, and it involves a couple of clever references to one of the most iconic legal films, A Few Good Men. Hugh’s own story, in fact, is just as rich and gripping as Dave’s. The film did well to not center too much on Dave and throw laurels on his good deeds, but rather parallel his story with Hugh’s own journey towards simplicity and happiness.


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