Previously at the ICA - Films
12 Dec 2014 – 13 Jan 2015
★★★★★ "Pin-sharp direction and performances" Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
★★★★★ "An extraordinary film" Time Out
Featuring many of Leigh’s repertory troupe, including Paul Jesson, Lesley Manville, Marion Bailey and of course Timothy Spall in the title role, this boisterous dissertation on Britain’s greatest landscape artist J. M. W. Turner is Mike Leigh’s first biopic since 1999’s scrutiny of Gilbert and Sullivan, Topsy Turvy.
Turner’s close relationship with his ailing father (Jesson), and the more complex ones involving the women in his life, are beautifully realised. Spall, as the muttering, opinionated eccentric whose eye is nonetheless always, quite literally, on his work, delivers a performance amply justifying his Best Actor award at Cannes. Turner’s run-ins with the Royal Academy and his sometimes peculiar techniques are handled with humour and admirable impartiality, and with Leigh stalwart Dick Pope’s cinematography, the film is a joy to behold.
Mr Turner, dir. Mike Leigh, UK 2015, 150 mins. cert. 12A
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