Mr. Turner review by Michelle Sommerville - Cinema Paradiso
I had not heard about this film before, nor do I remember hearing about Mr. J.M.W. Turner, so I did not have any idea what to expect. What I found was an educating and entertaining film about a quirky, though creatively brilliant, man. The contrasting and comparing of the flawed character and his perfect creations made the work come alive, and that is why I give it a well-deserved four out of five stars.
The film follows the last twenty five years of Mr. Turner’s life. He was a quirky, yet creatively brilliant, man who created amazing pieces of art. Being close to both his father and his housekeeper, the death of the former greatly affects Turner. An occasional sexually exploitative relationship with his housekeeper ends as he grows closer to a seaside landlady. It is with her that he eventually resides until his death in 1851, while living incognito. His creativity takes him to many places, and his quirks and techniques bring both admiration and scorn. Only by learning about the man behind the paintbrush will you gain a new appreciation for the works.
Mr. Turner was not a film I would immediately choose to see. It does not fit into my ‘type’, but was well worth it.
The cinematography was a work of brilliance, and was as beautiful as the paintings created by Turner. The scenery, sets, props, and costumes were so rich and authentic and put you right into the world of the story. With the rise of illegal downloading and watching films on phone screens and computer monitors, it is good to see how this film demands a large, cinema, screen.
The film also boasting some brilliant acting. Timothy Spall is probably best known to the younger members of the audience as Wormtail from the Harry Potter series, but he is nothing like that character. Spall fully embodies Turner, and is a name more people should know. He purely becomes the quirky and grunting character that looks even more out of place next to his magnificent masterpieces.
Perhaps the best thing about Mr. Turner is that it was not given the Hollywood make-over. It was an honest telling of the story that did not have Brad Pitt playing the lead character, nor did it have a modern retelling twist.
The two-and-a-half hour runtime might be a bit too much, and it does kind of drag-on a little bit. While it was an engaging and interesting story, it might still be a bit too long for some.
So far, the film has received overwhelmingly positive reviews. This even includes postings on websites that almost seem to get the jollies out of giving films bad reviews. There has also been unconfirmed talk about possible major awards being in the offing for Spall.
Overall, a very enjoyable film that not only educates, but entertains. For those of us who had never heard the name ‘Mr. Turner’ before, you won’t forget it in the future.