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Mr Turner

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Mr Turner

Mike Leigh (2014)

143min
12 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Mike Leigh's beautifully drawn portrait of the British artist JMW Turner focuses largely on the later years of the painter's life, when he was already a fêted name with eccentric habits and a complicated private life. Deliberately fragmentary and sketchy, it's not the sort of tidy biopic that Hollywood churns out in batches, but that somehow makes it even truer to the spirit of the Romantic period when it takes place. Timothy Spall delivers a majestic performance, arguably his best in a rich career, capturing both Turner's quicksilver intelligence and energy but also his coarse manners - a lot of his dialogue consists of expressive grunts and growls, like a pig suffering a bad bout of dyspepsia. Although Leigh's deft handling of actors and humour is palpable throughout, there's none of the satirical sneering that sometimes mars his work. Some might even consider it his best film to date, and in some ways, despite its grounding in biography and history, his most personal.

Summary

Premiere. Mike Leigh's biopic of the artist, following the last 25 years of his life. He faces losses in his personal life and declining health, but also embraces innovative new approaches to painting that provoke controversy in the arts establishment but lead to the creation of several masterpieces. Starring Timothy Spall and Paul Jesson.

Cast & Crew

JMW Turner Timothy Spall
William Turner Paul Jesson
Hannah Danby Dorothy Atkinson
Sophia Booth Marion Bailey
Mr Booth Karl Johnson (2)
Sarah Danby Ruth Sheen
Evelina Sandy Foster
Georgiana Amy Dawson
Mary Somerville Lesley Manville
Benjamin Robert Haydon Martin Savage
George Jones Richard Bremner
John Carew Niall Buggy
Henry William Pickersgill Roger Ashton-Griffiths
John Ruskin Joshua McGuire
Sir Charles Eastlake Robert Portal
Sir Martin Archer Shee Clive Francis
Sir Augustus Wall Callcott Simon Chandler
John Constable James Fleet
Lady Eastlake Fenella Woolgar
Joseph Gillott Peter Wight
Theatre actor Sam Kelly
Director Mike Leigh
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Other Information

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: Entertainment One Available on: Available on DVD and BluRay Released on: 31 Oct 2014

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