This video is called MR. TURNER – OFFICIAL TRAILER.
By Jeff Sawtell in Britain:
Turner‘s trials and triumphs
Friday 31st October 2014
Mike Leigh’s film on a great Victorian painter is an outstanding biopic, says Jeff Sawtell
Mr Turner (15), directed by Mike Leigh
Artists are awkward creatures, especially when they refuse to follow fashion and cultivate their own field, regardless of style and taste.
One such seminal revolutionary was JMW Turner, who transcended the period of Britain’s rise to empire and the consequences of the industrial revolution.
That’s not entirely dissimilar to director Mike Leigh today, whose brand of critical realism has concentrated on the casualties of England’s waning capitalist power.
Having set up his home as studio and gallery, he established his pre-eminence, turning his eye to land and and sea paintings.
He was so committed to the truthfulness of his art that he even got himself roped to a mast to experience the realities of a storm.
Considering himself an artisan, he became the thorn in the side of the English establishment and was considered too radical for the National Gallery.
At the film’s opening we observe him, a small and rotund man with a stovepipe hat, sketching a Dutch windmill while two women comment on his observations.
He’s at home with his beloved “daddy” (Paul Jessom) and ever-loving housekeeper Hannah (Dorothy Atkinson), who satisfies his lust.
These tableaux of his life are interspersed by his quest for inspiration — most notably realised in the canvases Fingal’s Cave, The Fighting Temeraire and Rain, Steam and Power.
Most importantly, we’re given a demonstration of his technique as he works canvases over with whatever comes to hand, applying plenty of spit and polish.
Typically, he upstages the serious John Constable (James Fleet) with a fleck of red paint. Yet, later, he weeps for one of his dead children.
Spall plays him straight as a blunt Cockney, yet he stuns and awes all those who view his sublime paintings.
Sadly, the young John Ruskin (Joshua McQuire) — the most prominent champion of his work — is characterised as a camp fop.
Otherwise, we’re introduced to a galaxy of personalities, from gentry and artists to working men and women, who are played by a great cast of British character actors.
It’s a pity it took 200 years for Turner to be provided with a gallery for the 300 works he bequeathed to the nation, so that we can view them gratis.
Yet another reason to resist museum charges.