Leigh gives us a portrait of Turner in miniature. A series of scenes, vignettes, fractured & fragmented; presented without context. These small close-up details of a life eventually collate; they create a broader picture when seen in totality. It works, at least intellectually; but the film doesn't live! Spall's grunting, snorting caricature of Turner is impenetrable; a blank canvas. More a sketch than a masterpiece.
Brilliant! I knew it would be, literally, 5 minutes into the film I knew I was watching something special. Mike Leigh has a knack for pulling you into stories you may have otherwise been ignorant to. This film oozes authenticity and walks through Turner's life with assured respect for its subject. I prefer Mike Leigh to Ken Loach. There... I have said it. Both supremely talented individuals but I prefer Leigh!
Mike Leighs neuer Film ist einer, der es einem schwer macht: Langsam, ziemlich grimmig, nicht leicht zu lieben. Sicherlich, der Film ist faszinierend, toll gespielt und seine Bilder hervorragend der Kunst des Originals nachempfunden!(...) die ganze Rezension und die für uns faszinierendsten Biopics über Kunst gibts auf unserer Videotheken Internetseite cinegeek.de
Director Mike Leigh is interested in William Turner the Man and not in William Turner the Painter hence the title of this film. So we have a proletarian point of view here that may undoubtedly please a large part of the audience but not me I'm afraid. Not once in this movie Mike Leigh tried to explain or guess why William Turner was a genius. Already forgotten.
Derrière la magie d'une reconstitution très maîtrisée (dans ses lumières notamment), M. Leigh livre un portrait rugueux, rustre et revêche du génie de la lumière, sublimé et incarné par un incroyable T. Spall. Mais cet académisme grommelant aplatit ce biopic en une étrange cours des miracles, où les dialogues et les trognes s'enchainent en un carnaval qui ne fait pas sens. La vie de Turner ne sublime pas l'oeuvre.
Joseph Mallord William Turner was an unpleasant man: cruel; doleful; badly dressed; unkept, grunting & snorting; brothel frequenter; deserting, neglecting, refusing & leaving his family broke; sexually abusing his housekeeper when- & wherever he wanted; using false identity & overall a selfish man. But, he was a great painter! Besides that there was nothing he was interested in & nothing is worth to tell about him.
Mr. Turner is gorgeous in its cinematography and impeccable in costumes and art direction, along with several outstanding performances -- so impressive on so many levels. And yet despite all this talent, the film stumbles along with no discernible narrative arc, a plethora of throwaway scenes, and cultural cues meant only for those up on early-1800s Britain.
Turner's work was as forward thinking and avant-garde as it gets. When seen in person it's full of vitality and life. Isn't it then sad and absurd to make a mannerist dirge focusing almost entirely on a late relationship whilst almost entirely ignoring the art/creativity of his life? It's unimaginative film making about the subject of imagination and the rape scene Leigh added because it 'felt right' is just idiotic.