Directed by Mike Leigh
I don’t even know where to begin…this is such a strange and wonderful film. The production is lush, miraculous, even. Leigh somehow has allowed you to literally see what Turner was looking at and then see why the paintings are so astonishing. The story is unwieldy, meandering, defies a three act structure and is quite often baffling…and transfixing. The performances…well…Timothy Spall and Dorothy Atkinson create UTTERLY unforgettable characters. Spall is hedgehog-like, and repulsive, and hilarious, and inspirational, all accomplished with one well-placed grunt or two. Just a real work of art…challenging to be sure and many will hate it…but one cannot deny it’s craft. OH…and not ONE paragraph to read at the end of the film about Turner and his lasting blah blah on society! Just credits. If only “The Imitation Game” and “Unbroken” had shown the same restraint!
Originally reviewed on 12/25