Mr. Turner explores the last quarter century of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). Profoundly affected by the death of his father, loved by a housekeeper he takes for granted and occasionally exploits sexually, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea, where he dies.
Throughout this, he travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, is a popular if anarchic member of the Royal Academy of Arts, has himself strapped to the mast of a ship so that he can paint a snowstorm, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty.
Mr. Turner is a British biographical drama film, written and directed by Mike Leigh, and starring Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Paul Jesson, Marion Bailey and Ruth Sheen. The film concerns the life and career of British artist J. M. W. Turner (played by Spall). It premiered in competition for the Palme d’Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where Spall won the award for Best Actor and cinematographer Dick Pope received a special jury prize for the film’s cinematography.
Leigh has described Turner as “a great artist: a radical, revolutionary painter,” explaining, “I felt there was scope for a film examining the tension between this very mortal, flawed individual, and the epic work, the spiritual way he had of distilling the world.”
Directed by: Mike Leigh
Starring: Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson, Ruth Sheen, Sandy Foster, Amy Dawson, Lesley Manville, Sinead Matthews
Screenplay by: Mike Leigh
Production Design by: Suzie Davies
Cinematography by: Dick Pope
Film Editing by: Jon Gregory
Costume Design by: Jacqueline Durran
Set Decoration by: Charlotte Watts
Art Direction by: Dan Taylor
Music by: Gary Yershon
MPAA Rating: R for some sexual content.
Studio: Entertainment One
Release Date: December 19, 2014