Flash Movie Review: Mr. Turner

Each and every person has the capabilities to display both beautiful and ugly traits that are buried inside. I believe the environment one grows up with can influence the way these traits come out. It seems to me as we age the percentages between them varies more. I find it so perplexing when the newscasts televise a segment on someone who was convicted of a crime and they make a point of reciting the perpetrator’s good qualities. For example, the individual was a good father though he was convicted of a hate crime. It is such a wide contrast to me; I have a hard time making sense of it. Some of you may remember that my family and I will not watch certain actors’ films because of certain things they believe or have done in their personal lives. The idea that these artists may be good actors on screen but nasty people in real life does not compute in my brain. Look throughout history and you can easily find historical individuals who made a significant contribution to society but they had ugliness inside of them.    SUCH a character but he did extraordinary things with a paintbrush. This film festival winning biographical drama was about the life of 18th century English painter J.M.W. Turner, played by Timothy Spall (Harry Potter franchise, Ginger & Rosa). From a visual aspect this film was at times lush and bright as it was soft and dark. I really got a sense of life during that time. It was interesting to me because I have seen other movies that depicted the same time period, yet this one was more convincing. Though I did not quite understand the character he played early into the picture, Timothy’s acting on a whole slowly grew on me; he had wonderful depth. The character Hannah Danby, played beautifully by Dorothy Atkinson (All of Nothing, Topsy-Turvy) was a fascinating study. In her silence she still was a powerful force on the big screen. Written and directed by Mike Leigh (Happy-Go-Lucky, Secret & Lies), this historical film may not be an easy watch for many viewers. I found it very slow in parts, besides very long with a running time of 2 hours and 30 minutes. At times there was very little action in the scenes; however, when I thought more about it afterwards it made a bit more sense to me. I chalked it up to the time period and place, finding it more artful then entertaining. One aspect I appreciated was the fact I actually saw a few of his paintings in museums but had no knowledge of him at the time. I would be curious for those who see this film, what percentages of beautiful and ugly did you think Mr. Turner showed us?


2 3/4 stars

About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on December 31, 2014, in Drama and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Thank you for your reviews. Always great food for thought. And, yes, I struggle with the good, bad, and ugly in those we give celebrity status. Another movie to add to the list…

  2. I love Turner’s art but I’ve been put off from watching this film by the long running time. You’ve confirmed my doubts there so I’ll wait for this one to come out on DVD. For a film to clock in at two and a half hours, it really needs to have a sense of spectacle and energy.

  3. Thank you for the good review. This is one movie I’ll be sure not to watch late at night when it comes out on DVD. It does sound interesting enough to watch, though.

  4. Thank you for this review, your role in life could be characterized as providing the analysis of the sociological, psychosocial role of actors private lives in contrast to the roles they play and their impact on the lives of us a voyeurs as a species. Movies have taken the role of the human shaman, taking on a mask or a pair of glasses to act as a “witch doctor” to bring the individual or group to a higher level of understanding various aspects of individuality and life circumstances. I am an astrologer, numerologist, metaphysician whose role is to get beneath the surface of appearances and individual shadows. Life is a journey wherein we are all actors to the public and within our private lives wherein we are given individual challenges to transcend, therein bringing self-renewal. Mr. Turner’s role of artist creates “scenes” through his cosmic gift as “artist”, for individuals to experience and to transcend their mundane perceptions about life. Astrologically, numerologically every individual is given some form of “expression”, wherein one excels, but at the same time they are dealing with their shadows as human beings, working on transcending the darkest areas of their lives. Turner’s biop, gives each viewer a panoramic view of one artist’s accomplishments in contrast to the demons of his own human life. That is what is so wonderful about the role of critical reviews, they provide us food for thought. Every famous person is a human whose life publicized. How fortunate of us who are private, not famous, wherein we can enjoy the luxury of privacy!!!!!

    • I am so deeply touched that you took the time to present your well thought out, insightful comments here to share with everyone. Thank you for allowing everyone to step into your shadow to learn something new with a different pair of eyes. If I ever decide to have a guest blogger on site, you would be someone important to have contribute. A happy and healthy new year to you and once again, thank you so much for sharing a part of yourself here.

  5. Thank you greatly for your wonderful sensitivity. I appreciate your blogs immensely!!!!!

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