Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Video

An exploration of the last quarter century of the great, if eccentric, British painter J.M.W. Turner's life.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
3,593 ( 164)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 57 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Topsy-Turvy (1999)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After Gilbert and Sullivan's latest play is critically panned, the frustrated team threatens to disband until it is inspired to write the masterpiece "The Mikado."

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Jim Broadbent, Allan Corduner, Dexter Fletcher
Another Year (2010)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A look at four seasons in the lives of a happily married couple and their relationships with their family and friends.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville
Leviathan (2014)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In a Russian coastal town, Kolya is forced to fight the corrupt mayor when he is told that his house will be demolished. He recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man's arrival brings further misfortune for Kolya and his family.

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Stars: Aleksey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, Roman Madyanov
Foxcatcher (2014)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Mark and Dave Schultz, U.S. Olympic Wrestling champions, join Team Foxcatcher led by multimillionaire John E. du Pont as they train for the 1988 games in Seoul - but John's emotional self-destruction threatens to consume them all.

Director: Bennett Miller
Stars: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A successful black woman discovers that her birth mother is a lower-class white woman, but the woman denies it. As emotions run high, everyone's secrets are exposed.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Phyllis Logan
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Sandra, a young Belgian mother, discovers that her workmates have opted for a significant pay bonus, in exchange for her dismissal. She has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Stars: Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Catherine Salée
Force Majeure (2014)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A family on a ski holiday in the French Alps find themselves staring down an avalanche during lunch one day; in the aftermath, their dynamic has been shaken to its core, with a question mark hanging over their patriarch in particular.

Director: Ruben Östlund
Stars: Johannes Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren
Selma (2014)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A chronicle of Martin Luther King's campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.

Director: Ava DuVernay
Stars: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth
Vera Drake (2004)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Abortionist Vera Drake finds her beliefs and practices clash with the mores of 1950s Britain--a conflict that leads to tragedy for her family.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Imelda Staunton, Jim Broadbent, Heather Craney
Big Eyes I (2014)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A drama about the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A look at a few chapters in the life of Poppy, a cheery, colorful, North London schoolteacher whose optimism tends to exasperate those around her.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Sally Hawkins, Alexis Zegerman, Samuel Roukin
Ida (2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Anna, a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland, is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation.

Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Stars: Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Mr Booth
...
...
...
...
Martin Savage ...
...
Niall Buggy ...
John Carew
...
Sir William Beechey
Tom Edden ...
...
Edit

Storyline

Mr. Turner 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. Written by Entertainment One

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 2014 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Bay Turner  »

Box Office

Budget:

£8,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$109,000 (USA) (19 December 2014)

Gross:

$3,958,500 (USA) (27 March 2015)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During the announcements of the 87th Academy Awards nominations on January 15, 2015, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs mistakenly named "Dick Poop" as a nominee for Best Cinematography instead of the correctly pronounced "Dick Pope." She immediately corrected the name, but there was a surprising amount of media coverage following the incident especially considering it was over a somewhat unknown nominee for cinematography, a category not usually accustomed to significant press coverage. See more »

Goofs

When Mr. Turner is shown in the marketplace towards the beginning of the movie, a woman enters the scene carrying a pug, with a short snout which only appeared due to breeding after 1900s. Pugs back then had longer snouts. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
J.M.W. Turner: The sun is God! Ha ha ha!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Care Bears Nutcracker Suite (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Here we meet too soon to part
Written by John Clare
Sung at the soiree by Alice Bailey Johnson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An enchanting biopic boasting a gargantuan performance from Timothy Spall and astounding picturesque cinematography.
15 October 2014 | by (Suffolk, England) – See all my reviews

Four years ago, Mike Leigh released one of the finest films of his oeuvre. I saw Another Year at the London Film Festival gala premiere and I still consider it the only perfect film of this decade thus far. As a result, expectations for his long awaited followup Mr. Turner were very high. Especially as it's ostensibly his most ambitious, even moreso than Topsy-Turvy, also a period drama, that ultimately won 2 Oscars, the only Oscars any of his films ever won. Nevertheless, he's frequently a gift basket receiver at the ceremonies, garnering obligatory screenplay nominations and the odd directing nom, the last of which being for Vera Drake 10 years ago. His organic storytelling, balance of abstract concepts, ability to orchestrate extraordinary performances and his sardonic sense of humour resonate with critics and audiences alike.

However, he's not always a crowd pleaser, and Mr. Turner in particular has divided audiences, though not enough to hinder its current awards progress. It's clear to see why. This biopic of the visionary 19th century artist J.M.W. Turner is dense and cryptic. In Leigh's impeccable attention to detail, not just in the production and costume designs, the language is authentic to the convoluted dialect of the upper class of the period and thus it's hard to follow the sparse plot, even for fans. It's unusual for Leigh to adapt a true story, he often starts from scratch, but true to his form his script here defies traditional structure. It's a liberating free form style, sampling scattered moments of Turner's life, not building to anything specific but just exploring what shaped his idiosyncratic perspective. As a result, the film has grit hard to find elsewhere, and although it's difficult to decipher, it's enchanting for some.

Headlining the film is Timothy Spall's colossal performance. He's always been a highlight of Leigh's films when he's been involved, especially his knock out performances in Secrets & Lies and All Or Nothing. This is the role he was born to play. Tossing narrative aside, the film's primary concern is the character study of Turner, a brilliant but flawed man, and each sequence adds layers upon layers of dimensions to him as they swirl in anguish. Spall wears those emotions on his sleeve with a perpetual sneer, grumbly grunts and a piercing stare. The moments where he breaks down have the weight of an earthquake. He's at once a force of nature and has a tender vulnerability. But as illustrated by the exquisite opening shot, he is above all a man of his art and watching Turner paint with a chaotic elegance is fascinating, especially as the results develop over the film.

The ensemble around Spall gives ample support, including the fleeting appearances from familiar faces such as the seething Ruth Sheen as the bitter mother of his estranged children and the delightful Lesley Manville as a sprightly scientist who conducts an art orientated experiment. The standouts however are the warm glow of Marion Bailey, Turner's landlady of his second home and mistress, and the anxious agony of Dorothy Atkinson, Turner's housekeeper who he frequently engages in sex but who suffers from a disfiguring skin disease. Bailey has her great moments, especially when she's overwhelmingly flattered, but Atkinson in particular has such heartbreaking conviction that she bursts from the background of her scenes.

What makes the film Leigh's most ambitious project is the cinematography. He's always had a great eye for blocking and making the kitchen sink cinematic, but Dick Pope's work here broke the mould. It's obvious to call it Turner-esque, but that's the intention. It's almost like a David Lean precision of waiting for a cloud to move in the right place. It was indeed whenever Leigh and Pope encountered landscapes like this on other films that inspired them to pursue this film. Some shots cover more ground than he covered in the entirety of his early films. Not only are the outside shots beautifully composed, but also the inside, using wide angles to keep the grand scale. A collaborator since Happy-Go-Lucky, composer Gary Yershon's forlorn oboe contributes to the rich ominous tone. It's interesting that for a film about art and colour that it's saturated with browns, blacks and greys.

The inherently meandering plot does lead it to becoming bloated, but it attempt to be an insight the many different facets of Turner's life and how that feeds into his work, something applicable to all the great artists. It also considers themes of legacy, one perhaps self-aware in hindsight, but important in context. It's a complex film, and it needs another viewing until I'm fully ready to embrace it. As like life, it ends unresolved and I'm still not sure what to make of it. I must be one of the few people who didn't feel it was too long, but only because I was hungry for something more conclusive. Leigh doesn't make it easy for us, but gives us everything to work with. For what I can digest so far, it's a gargantuan achievement.

Due to that inaccessibility and the length of the film, awards attention outside of critic's awards is unlikely. Perhaps it could get a couple of BAFTA nominations, Leigh is not the sweeper people think he is there but it will no doubt get noms for Spall and Best British Film. If there were any justice, it would get Cinematography, Production Design and Costume Design across the board as for even people who didn't like the film can't deny their prowess. Leigh may miss out on that Original Screenplay nomination as the film is looser than his usual output, but particularly because the dialogue needs a double take. It is going to be difficult to imagine where Leigh will go from here but Mr. Turner duly satisfies a thirst for now.

9/10


68 of 96 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Dull and awful drbain
The Photograph of Turner flanagan-eng
Was the score off putting to anyone else? spenservannerson22
The Sun is God? jacobcornblatt
The maid's skin condition jkbbr549
Glad it didn't hit me in the theatre lord_of_the_wings
Discuss Mr. Turner (2014) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?