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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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Timothy Spall Talks Mr. Turner, Preparation for the Role, Painting Lessons, His Brush with Leukemia, and More

Timothy Spall paints a fascinating portrait of J.M.W. Turner in the new biopic, Mr. Turner, written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Mike Leigh and beautifully lensed by cinematographer Dick Pope. The actor fully immerses himself in the role of the eccentric but brilliant English painter, water colorist and printmaker who elevated the art form of landscape painting in the 18th century. Mr. Turner premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival where Spall took the award for Best Actor and marks the seventh time in his career that he has collaborated with Leigh. Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, and Paul Jesson also star. At a recent roundtable interview, Spall talked about the challenge of playing the artist, his preparation for the role, the directing process with Leigh, their organic approach to building up the characters through improvisation, his painting lessons with British portraitist Tim Wright that helped him portray Turner convincingly,
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Film Review: Mr. Turner (2014): A Man’s Life Painted In Broad Strokes

Mr. Turner (2014) Film Review, a movie directed by Mike Leigh, and starring Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, Karl Johnson, Ruth Sheen, Sandy Foster, Amy Dawson, Lesley Manville, Martin Savage, and Richard Bremmer. Great movies steal away our attention and hold it hostage until the final [...]

Continue reading: Film Review: Mr. Turner (2014): A Man’s Life Painted In Broad Strokes
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Mr. Turner Movie Review

  • ShockYa
Mr. Turner Movie Review
Mr. Turner Sony Pictures Classics Reviewed for Shockya by Harvey Karten. Data-based on Rotten Tomatoes. Grade: B Director: Mike Leigh Screenwriter: Mike Leigh Cast: Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, Paul Jesson, Lesley Manville, Martin Savage, Joshua McGuire Screened at: Sony, NYC, 11/19/14 Opens: December 10. 2014 If you take a survey course in History of Art—which every liberal arts college should require—you’ll inevitably come across the big guys: Rembrandt, Bruegel the Elder, Titian, Michelangelo, Goya—but the folks from the Continent are not the only greats of their field. Britain is right to brag about J.M.W. Turner, who is important not only because of the quality of his work but [ Read More ]

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Mike Leigh On Painting Timothy Spall Into ‘Mr. Turner:’ The Contenders

  • Deadline
Mike Leigh On Painting Timothy Spall Into ‘Mr. Turner:’ The Contenders
Mr. Turner writer-director Mike Leigh, who has been nominated for Oscars five times, knew exactly who he wanted to play the lead role in his new biopic about the revered and irascible English Romantic painter J.M.W. Turner.

That was, as he tells Deadline’s Pete Hammond in this video clip from our recent Oscar showcase The Contenders, veteran character actor Timothy Spall.

Spall was the only actor Leigh said he considered for the role, and he’s perhaps best known for his ratty role as Wormtail in the Harry Potter films. But before Spall picked up a paintbrush in the film, Leigh said he made Spall take two years of painting lessons. That’s dedication.

The film also stars Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson and Marion Bailey. It was produced by Georgina Lowe.

Mr. Turner is scheduled for a limited release beginning Dec. 19, after a lengthy string of film festival appearances,
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Listen: Audio Interview with 'Mr. Turner' Star, Timothy Spall

It's interesting to look at the awards Timothy Spall has won and been nominated for and realize he's never been nominated for an Oscar. With his fifth collaboration with director Mike Leigh it's an oversight that just might be cleared up as his performance in Mr. Turner (see trailer at bottom of this post) has already earned him a Best Actor award at Cannes and is definitely in contention for Best Actor at this year's Oscars. Spall plays the titular character, the eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner, as the film focuses on the second half of his life, exploring a time following his father's (Paul Jesson) death and a subsequent relationship with Ms. Booth (Marion Bailey) a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea. I had the chance to talk with Spall, whose work most mainstream audiences will likely remember as Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter films,
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Mr Turner Review

Director: Mike Leigh

Cast: Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Paul Jesson, Marion Bailey, Ruth Sheen and Lesley Manville

Certificate: 12A

Running Time: 149 minutes

Synopsis: An exploration of the last quarter century of the great, if eccentric, British painter Jmw Turner’s life.

There comes a time towards the end of Mr. Turner, Mike Leigh’s period study of the 19th-century painter Jmw Turner, where Timothy Spall – in character as the grizzled artist – grunts in response to a question. This isn’t the first time Turner’s reply has amounted to a guttural noise of monosyllabic rudeness, nor is it the last. However, what becomes striking about these grunts is how their overuse assists in blurring the lines between real-life and performance; Spall hasn’t merely become Turner, no. Spall is Turner. Whether he’s laughing with disdain or howling with emotion, the British actor plays Turner as an aloof creature who
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Mr. Turner movie review: in the concrete abstract

This is no stuffy costume drama but a richly lived-in visit to early-19th-century England that is rough, bawdy, often funny, and more often unsettling. I’m “biast” (pro): I always expect greatness from Mike Leigh

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

I don’t know much about the painter J.M.W. Turner except that he was a precursor to the Impressionists, that his work, which we can see today was an early transitional sort of abstract, inspired future generations of artists to represent the world in ways that had never been imagined before.

Even this foundational basic is not the sort of thing that Mr. Turner cares to share with us. As grand as it is — the film frequently borrows the epic look and feel of Turner’s sweeping landscapes — history and scholarship are not its concerns. This
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Mr Turner review: Timothy Spall leads Mike Leigh's art biopic

Mr Turner review: Timothy Spall leads Mike Leigh's art biopic
Director: Mike Leigh; Screenwriter: Mike Leigh; Starring: Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, Karl Johnson, Ruth Sheen, Leslie Manville; Running time: 150 mins; Certificate: 12A

Mike Leigh is a director synonymous with kitchen sink realism, but in exploring the life of 19th-century landscape artist Jmw Turner, he takes the opportunity to get outdoors and capture some beautiful views. Less handsome but equally imposing is Timothy Spall as the man himself, always looking out and rarely looking inward, which is a strength (adding to the intrigue) and a weakness of the film.

Leigh homes in on the last 25 years of Turner's life when he is an artist of great renown, living in London with his doting father (Paul Jesson) and equally devoted housekeeper Hannah Danby (Dorothy Atkinson). There is a studied formality in the way Leigh conveys the dynamics between them, punctuated by bursts of impropriety. Turner is endearingly tactile with his old dad,
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Mr. Turner Review [Lff 2014]

Prior to Mr. Turner, I’d assumed J.M.W. Turner was some upper-class dork with a silly accent, spending his days flouncing around a field somewhere (probably wearing a stupid old-timey hat). I dutifully trotted around the Turner Collection at Tate Britain and appreciated (rather than enjoyed) his paintings, but to be honest, landscapes aren’t really my cup of tea. I figured Turner was just one of those artists you’re expected to like, an institution rather than something that speaks to the heart.

After watching Mike Leigh’s biopic, however, my thoughts have changed. Turner, as seen through the lens of Mike Leigh and the performance of Timothy Spall, is a weirdly primal, sexually charged pig man who spits on his canvases, responds to questions with bestial grunts and is tangled up in some compulsive quasi-bdsm relationship with his housekeeper. From the moment we first see him silhouetted against the horizon,
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London Film Festival 2014: Mr. Turner Gala

London Film Festival 2014: Mr. Turner Gala
Mr. Turner has been gathering spectacular reviews and almost universal acclaim since its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Mike Leigh's epic, vibrant film explores a painter acknowledged as one of the greatest British artists, someone who experimented with style, technique and environment to create visceral landscapes and now iconic pieces of art. Mr. Turner looks at the final 25 years of the artist's life and how he was affected by the death of his father. The BFI London Film Festival played host as Mr. Turner was unveiled as the Time Out Gala at this year's event.Sporting an elegant moustache and flanked by some of the cast of the film including Paul Jesson, Marion Bailey and Ruth Sheen as well as director, Mike Leigh, Timothy Spall owned the red carpet, waxing lyrical about Turner and the complexities of such a character.“What sort of man is he? It's difficult to say because it's complicated.
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Ray Winstone and Amanda Redman to star in new ITV robbery drama

Ray Winstone and Amanda Redman will star in new ITV drama The Trials of Jimmy Rose.

The series will tell the story of armed robber Jimmy Rose (Winstone), whose lifetime of crime has had its costs.

His wife Jackie (Redman) battles with thoughts that she no longer loves her husband, while their adult children decide to cut Jimmy out of their lives.

The three-part series follows Jimmy as he is released from prison and tries to adapt to his family's new take on his lifestyle.

Winstone said: "Alan Whiting has created and written a gift of a role. I'm excited to be playing him and to be working with the great Amanda Redman. She's such a fine actress, and together with Adrian Shergold and the production team, I'm sure we'll be able to bring Jimmy and Jackie to life."

The Trials of Jimmy Rose also features Marion Bailey, Sue Anderson and Paul Jesson,
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

UK movie releases: October 2014

UK movie releases: October 2014
October 3, 2014

Life After Beth

Director: Jeff Baena

Starring: Jeff Baena

Running time: 89 mins

Certificate: 15

Dracula Untold

Director: Gary Shore

Starring: Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper

Running time: 92 mins

Certificate: 15

Draft Day

Director: Ivan Reitman

Starring: Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner

Running time: 107 mins

Certificate: 15

Gone Girl

Director:David Fincher

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike

Running time: 149 mins

Certificate: 18

October 10, 2014

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Director: Miguel Arteta

Starring: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner

Running time: 81 mins

Certificate: PG


Director: John R. Leonetti

Starring: Ward Horton, Annabelle Wallis

Running time: 99 mins

Certificate: 15

The Calling

Director: Jason Stone

Starring: Susan Sarandon, Gil Bellows

Running time: 108 mins

Certificate: 15

Effie Gray

Director: Richard Laxton

Starring: Dakota Fanning, Emma Thompson

Running time: Tbc mins

Certificate: 12A

The Maze Runner

Director: Wes Ball

Starring: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario

Running time: 113 mins

Certificate: 12A

The Rewrite

Director: Marc Lawrence

Starring: Hugh Grant, Marisa Tomei
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'Mr. Turner' (2014) Movie Review

Mike Leigh and cinematographer Dick Pope (The Illusionist) have turned the big screen into their canvas, painting a picture of the life of British painter J.M.W. Turner (played to the hilt and full of phlegm by Timothy Spall) in a film that's beautiful to look at and yet a bit of slog to endure. Mr. Turner is a Mike Leigh film through and through, presenting the life of his protagonist at face value, flaws and all, but I found it difficult to render any connection to the material. At two and a half hours I need to feel as if there is some reason I'm watching beyond bearing witness to two masters (Pope and Leigh) using Turner's life's work as inspiration for a beautiful film to look at, yet dull to spend too much time with. This felt more like a series of well-made home videos someone felt I would find interesting,
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Nyff 2014. Main Slate

  • MUBI
Opening Night – World Premiere

Gone Girl

David Fincher, USA, 2014, Dcp, 150m

David Fincher’s film version of Gillian Flynn’s phenomenally successful best seller (adapted by the author) is one wild cinematic ride, a perfectly cast and intensely compressed portrait of a recession-era marriage contained within a devastating depiction of celebrity/media culture, shifting gears as smoothly as a Maserati 250F. Ben Affleck is Nick Dunne, whose wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) goes missing on the day of their fifth anniversary. Neil Patrick Harris is Amy’s old boyfriend Desi, Carrie Coon (who played Honey in Tracy Letts’s acclaimed production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) is Nick’s sister Margo, Kim Dickens (Treme, Friday Night Lights) is Detective Rhonda Boney, and Tyler Perry is Nick’s superstar lawyer Tanner Bolt. At once a grand panoramic vision of middle America, a uniquely disturbing exploration of the fault lines in a marriage,
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Mr. Turner gets a new poster

  • TheMovieBit
A new poster for Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner has arrived and awaits your loving gaze down below. Leigh’s latest movie, starring Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson and Dorothy Atkinson, explores the last quarter century of the great, if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). Profoundly affected by the death of his father, loved by a housekeeper he takes for granted and occasionally exploits sexually, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea, where he dies. Throughout this, he travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, is a popular if anarchic member of the Royal Academy of Arts, has himself strapped to the mast of a ship so that he can paint a snowstorm, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty. Released: October 31st Ireland & UK / December 19th USA (Limited Release)
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New Images from A Little Chaos, Love & Mercy, Miss Julie, and Mr. Turner

The impressive lineup announced for the upcoming 2014 Toronto International Film Festival includes a number of extremely promising films, and we’ve got some new images from four such features for your perusing pleasure. Briefly: A Little Chaos – (Directed by Alan Rickman) Starring Kate Winslet, Stanley Tucci, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Alan Rickman. Love & Mercy – (Directed by Bill Pohlad) Starring Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, John Cusack, and Paul Giamatti. Miss Julie – (Directed by Liv Ullmann) Starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, and Samantha Morton. Mr. Turner – (Directed by Mike Leigh) Starring Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, Paul Jesson, Lesley Manville, Martin Savage, Joshua McGuire, Ruth Sheen, David Horovitch, and Karl Johnson. Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses, and click here to check out all of the Tiff images released thus far. The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 4 – 14th. A Little Chaos A landscape gardener with a
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Toronto Film Festival lineup announced -- Breaking

Toronto Film Festival lineup announced -- Breaking
The 39th Toronto International Film Festival has announced its initial slate of galas and special presentations, which includes 37 world premieres and several films with Oscar ambitions. The Judge, which stars Robert Downey Jr. as a big-city lawyer who reluctantly returns home and ends up defending his revered father (Robert Duvall) against criminal charges, will have its world premiere in Toronto. His Avengers pal, Chris Evans, will unveil his own directorial debut in Toronto, titled Before We Go.

Also noteworthy: James Gandolfini’s final film, The Drop, which also stars Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace; another Jason Reitman Toronto world premiere,
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Toronto Film Festival Lineup Includes Denzel Washington’s ‘Equalizer,’ Kate Winslet’s ‘A Little Chaos’

Toronto Film Festival Lineup Includes Denzel Washington’s ‘Equalizer,’ Kate Winslet’s ‘A Little Chaos’
The Toronto International Film Festival has announced over 40 titles — a mix of awards contenders, star-powered indies, and international art-house fare — screening in its Gala and Special Presentations program this September, including Denzel Washington’s “The Equalizer,” a pair of Reese Witherspoon projects and closing night film “A Little Chaos,” Alan Rickman’s period pic starring Kate Winslet as a landscape gardener assigned to construct the garden at Versailles.

World-preeming Galas announced this morning at the Tiff Bell Lightbox also include “Pawn Sacrifice,” Ed Zwick’s biopic on the legendary Cold War-era chess match between Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) and Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber), and “Black and White,” Mike Binder’s tale of a grieving widower (Kevin Costner) in a custody battle, as well as WB fall releases “The Judge” (Robert Downey Jr.) and Shawn Levy’s dysfunctional family comedy-drama “This Is Where I Leave You.”

International titles world-preeming on the
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'Wild,' 'The Judge' and 'The Equalizer' among initial 2014 Toronto Film Festival premieres

  • Hitfix
'Wild,' 'The Judge' and 'The Equalizer' among initial 2014 Toronto Film Festival premieres
The Toronto International Film Festival announced its initial wave of 2014 premieres and galas this morning and it features some familiar awards titles, some big stars and some unexpected studio titles. Among the major studio films, David Dobkin's "The Judge" with Robert Downey Jr. and Antoine Fuqua's "The Equalizer" each received gala slots and should premiere over the festival's opening weekend. Other announced galas so far include Bennett Miller's acclaimed "Foxcatcher," which debuted at Cannes, and Mike Binder's "Black and White" starring Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer and Anthony Mackie. Toronto has also scheduled special gala screenings for David Cronenberg's "Map to the Stars" with Julianne Moore and Robert Pattinson, François Ozon's "The New Girlfriend," Ed Zwick's "Pawn Sacrifice" with Tobey Maguire, Lone Scherfig's "The Riot Club," Jean-Marc Vallée's "Wild," Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano's "Samba" and Shawn Levy's "This is Where I Leave You
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