December 09, 2014

Mr. Turner (2014)

Mr. Turner (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Mike Leigh
Country: UK

Movie Review: Beautifully conceived and thoroughly engrossing, “Mr. Turner” is a biographical drama about the Romantic landscape painter known as ‘the painter of light’, J.M.W. Turner, brilliantly impersonated by Timothy Spall who is habitual presence in director Mike Leigh’s films (“All or Nothing”, “Topsy Turvy”, “Secrets & Lies”). Turner, being recognized as a talented painter, suffers a lot after the death of his father who had been working as his studio assistant and lived with him for 30 years. Criticized by many, Turner was a music lover and an interested learner in general. However, his behavior baffles us with frequent rude manners and particularly a total contempt about his daughters, opting for painting shipwrecks instead of going to his daughter’s funeral. In the other hand, he gets deeply touched by a 22-year-old whore who lies down on a bed, not for sex, aspect reserved for his maid, but for posing for his new painting. Mike Leigh, as usual, takes us into Turner’s life with rigor and an accuracy on details that makes all the difference. It might seem exhaustive or overzealous to some viewers, but Leigh’s great deed was to make such an attractive biopic of a repulsive character who spat in his paintings, emitted grotesque noises, and evinced a lot of reproachable behaviors. “Mr.Turner” benefits from an immaculate direction, outstanding production design, dazzling cinematography, and the excellence of Spall’s performance, fact that gave him the prize of best actor at Cannes. Avoiding sentimental tricks and other eccentric schemes, this is a film that Turner himself would classify as ‘exceedingly compelling!’ in its overall simplicity.

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