Mr. Turner (2014)

Turner, J. M. W. - The Fighting Téméraire tugged to her last Berth to be broken.jpg
Turner, J. M. W. – The Fighting Téméraire tugged to her last Berth to be broken” by J. M. W. Turner Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Turner (film).png
Turner (film)” di Johnny Freak – fotogramma. Con licenza Copyrighted tramite Wikipedia.

When I want to see a film in the cinema I always have before hand a serious inner debate. I don’t know if the situation I will describe shortly happen also in other countries, but I can assure you that it happens in Italy and in Spain. There’re certain movies that to be watched deserve the big screen but there’s a collateral damage: big screen = cinema = people. If the film you want to see is screened only in five theatres in a city with an official population of three million (more or less), and you can go to the cinema only on the weekend, you will need a big load of patience and endurance, because you can be sure that the audience will be a problem. Last Sunday when I have watched Mike Leigh’s “Mr. Turner” I have suffered what follows:

– people coming fifteen minutes after the screening started

– some of the before mentioned trying to find their exact seat instead of sitting in the nearest place possible, with related shouts “is this the row E?”

– more five minutes other the fifteen to take off coats/hats and so on

– cell phone ringtones (we were very lucky that none of the four people involved followed their conversations)

– sorted snores

– supposedly witty comments (although the diagnose of Mr. Tuner’s housekeeper illness was wrong)

Notwithstanding the above, I have enjoyed the film. You realise from the start that if you want action you’d better dedicate your time and money elsewhere. The films opens with a five minutes long take of Mr. Turner sketching in Holland, surrounded by the yellow light of dawn while two women, one of them carrying two buckets with water, pass by chatting.

Mr. Turner deals with the last twenty-five years of life of the great painter; maybe not the nicest of men and sometimes even despicable. We see sketches of Turner’s life: his trips trying to capture the light and the essence of the sea, his rather chaotic domestic life, from the popular streets of London to the great halls of the Academy of Arts, a parade of humanity in all its variety from his housekeeper (Dorothy Atkinson is simply amazing) to Queen Victoria.

I hope the DVD will be released soon, so I can enjoy the original audio. This film is a luxury for the eyes, loved by the critics (first time I’ve ever seen such a consensus in Rotten Tomatoes) although detested by some viewers. For once in my lifetime, I’m with the critics.


5 thoughts on “Mr. Turner (2014)

  1. I have the same issue: my desire to see a film on a big screen always battles with my misanthropy. Some bozo in the seat behind me never fails to talk during the show or rustle food wrappers.
    This looks incredible. The light in the painting of “Temeraire” is stunning!

    1. That film deserves to overcome the “humankind” problem; fortunately when I was there the audience were not pop corn eaters. 🙂

      The photography is amazing, the luxury of details in the costumes and sets overwhelming. It is impossible to find even the slightest detail out of place in every single frame, not to talk about that neverending parade of amazing actors… Our “Posca” appears briefly commenting one of Turner’s pictures, fo r instance.

      1. Spall makes an incredible work in that film, but I warn you “Posca” says just four lines almost at the end of the movie. The amount of gorgeous actors and actresses used for few frames are almost insulting, something that just the Brits can allow themselves to do 🙂

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