Mr. Turner is a 2014 biographical drama film based on the last 25 years of the life of artist J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851). Written and directed by Mike Leigh, the film stars Timothy Spall in the title role, with Dorothy Atkinson, Paul Jesson, Marion Bailey, Lesley Manville, and Martin Savage. (Wikipedia)
Premiering at Cannes last year, Leigh’s biopic of famed English painter JMW Turner has already garnered a Best Actor award for Spall’s performance in the lead role and a special jury prize for the film’s cinematography for Dick Pope.
That just about sums it up really. Spall plays Turner as a brutish flawed man who had an unique ability to produce epic, awe-inspiring work which was extremely radical in its day. Pope manages to make virtually every outdoor shot a Turner painting and it is a wonder to behold! Check out the amazing of re-creation of The Fighting Temeraire (1839) below.
Leigh’s triumph with Mr. Turner is stringing together a loose collection of slice of life vignettes and filling them with all the relevant details to make that time and place come alive. The pacing is a little slow and nothing overtly dramatic happens but that’s the whole point of the exercise.
In the right hands, such evocative cinema is stirring and inspiring, Leigh’s heart-felt tribute deserves recognition as one of the best movies of 2014. Absolutely essential for art lovers everywhere.
Watch Mr. Turner on Amazon Prime Video.