“Mr. Turner” tells the tale of one of the greatest British artists, JMW Turner, and how his own life is in contrast with the beauty of his masterpieces. Read on for further details.
“Mr. Turner” Synopsis and Review:
“Mr. Turner” portrays the last 25 years of the life of JMW Turner (Timothy Spall). Set in the late 1820s, the movie starts with two women walking on the beach with the clouds changing from red to orange to pink. The scene focuses not on the two ladies but rather on a man furiously sketching on the pad of paper in his hand.
Turner comes back to their home studio, which he shares with his father William (Paul Jesson) and housekeeper Hannah Danby (Dorothy Atkinson), after attending a painting expedition in Belgium. His father was a former barber and is now a studio assistant for Turner. Hannah, on the other hand, does more than housekeeping by accommodating Turner’s sexual urges. Alongside is his estranged mistress, Sarah Danby (Ruth Sheen), whom he has fathered two grown daughters with but fails to step up to his responsibilities as a father and denies their existence to the world.
Turner’s works of art are colorful and magical, unlike his personal life, which seem a bit dull and gray.
We see Turner’s inability to commit to a person, more so a family. He’s pretty much a happy-go-lucky kind of man who goes wherever the wind pushes him. He meets Sophia Booth (Marion Bailey), a widow who eventually became his last mistress, in the southeastern coastal town of Margate.
Turner’s social skills aren’t also great, as depicted in the scene wherein Turner dabs a red paint on his canvas to mock his rival painter, Constable. There are scenes which also show Turner’s overly friendly attitude towards other painters and the acceptance of critics such as the young John Ruskin (Joshua McGuire).
“Mr. Turner” garnered an average critics’ rating of 8.5/10 and 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer.
“’Mr. Turner’ is a harsh, strange, but stirring movie,” said David Denby of the New Yorker.
As for Leigh’s portrayal of Mr. Turner’s character, “Mike Leigh shines a brilliant new light on the great master,” described Mark Kermode of The Guardian.
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Director and Screenwriter: Mike Leigh
Cast: Timothy Spall, Marion Bailey, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson, Lesley Manville
Runtime: 149 min.