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Sunday, 12 April 2015

Movie review - "Mr Turner"

Movie review number 40

This movie charts the life of JMW Turner, English artist of the 1700s and stars Timothy Spall in the title role. 
The movie starts with Turner returning to London from a trip to Utrecht in the Netherlands, and back to his London studio which he shares with his father.  His father makes up oil paint for Turner, buying the pigment from the "colourmen" - what we'd now call an art shop!  Turner's wife arrives and whinges at him that he hasn't been to see his family or kept up with his children.  
Later, Turner visits the seaside town of Margate and rents a top floor room in a building that faces the sea from a lady called Mrs Booth, who later becomes his mistress.  This becomes a second home for him, and he spends most of time there.
The movie also shows various interactions at the Royal Academy, with Turner giving a lecture, and also taking part in various exhibitions, where he encounters Mr Ruskin, a rather posh pretentious art critic (who later promotes the Preraphaelite artists, shown towards the end of the movie) and Turner at one point has a good crack at making Ruskin look a total prat.  (which he potentially was!!) Towards the end of the movie, a Very Rich Man offers to buy all of Turners painting off him for £20,000 but Turner tells him to bugger off because he's leaving them to the nation.  They're currently (still!) on show at the Tate Britain in London.
The movie ends with Turner returning to Margate, falling ill and ultimately dying.

(Ed's note: A Prat is English terminology for idiot: similar to twat)
(Another Ed's note: the movie scene with Ruskin in it talks about another artist called Mr Claude.  We went to see an expedition on London about Turner and Claude here which briefly explains who he is!)

This is a VERY long movie - well over 2 hours, and I found it too long and the last hour of it didn't hold my attention.  I'm rather surprised I sat through to the end, to be honest, and was tempted to turn it off about 45 minutes before actual ending.

Three squeaks out of ten, purely for historical accuracy.

Viewers choice, you'll need it to stave off the boredom!!!


  1. Ohhh... that doesn't sound like a great movie. I've heard of it though. Did you know that Timothy Spall played Peter Pettigrew in Harry Potter?

    1. Yeah, I'd heard of it too. Borrowed the DVD from my parents who rated it highly. And I remember Timothy Spall from the Harry Potter movies too!! He was fab in that!!!

  2. Well at least the movie was historically accurate....

  3. Absolutely brilliant film-all the performances blew me away and beautifully filmed.