Mr Turner…
Left me unmoved

Flicks / 19th November, 2014


My experience with a packed audience was not exactly as I expected.

Timothy Spall – was a radical departure from a national hero, grunting and ruminating his way thru this performance. The first half was engaging and the cameo scenes were really watchable but after a while the episodic nature of the film with too many ‘pig utterances’ just had no connecting narrative, and I felt the real stars were his unstintingly servant and occasional shag, Hannah Danby who probably had the nasty skin disease psoriasis – ( made famous for me by Dennis Potter) played by a virtuoso, non-verbal Dorothy Atkinson and his 2nd mistress, the widowed Mrs Booth, executed by Hannah Danby with absolute aplomb.

imagesThe majesty of his paintings, such as the Rain Steam & Wind  (an absolute favourite painting) with the running hare outpacing a train and The Fighting Temeraire, both depicting the industrial revolution gripping the nation are fully eclipsed in search of ‘The Man’.

Turner is depicted as loving his father but precious little else. His own siblings and grandchildren are left destitute even though he his in full and rude financial health.

Mike Leigh’s film is too long over indulgent and the sets, even the famous incident of Turner asking to be strapped to the mast often looks rigged which is a shame.

So for me, sadly, ‘the sting of adulation’ is clearly overstated.

Posted by: Fawkes