Film Review: Eccentric Story of ‘Mr. Turner’ Still Visually Arresting

Chicago – The thing that can be said for British writer/director Mike Leigh is that it’s never known what story may capture his fancy. The auteur of “Happy-Go-Lucky,” “Topsy-Turvy,” “Secrets and Lies” and “Life is Sweet” now tackles the last quarter century of a notable British painter’s life, through his strange maneuverings and unconventionality, in “Mr. Turner.”

Rating: 3.5/5.0

The Mister is J.M.W. Turner, an English Romantic landscape artist, whose form elevated the genre into a pre-impressionism age – making Turner a rather controversial figure in his time. The film plays upon that theme, as Timothy Spall portrays the painter in Mike Leigh’s script as a prolific adventurer and eccentric. Since Turner is a landscape painter, the director and cinematographer (Dick Pope) create an expansive cinematic canvas that “sees” Turner’s vision. The story, however, is a mishmash of scenes rather than a cohesive narrative, and
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