Turner makes it to the big screen

Posted on: 31 July 2014 by Gareth Hargreaves

Timothy Spall to play Turner in Mike Leigh's costume biopic of one of Britain's greatest artists.

Mr Turner

 

Mike Leigh embarks on one of his occassional costume forays in this ambitious biopic of the last quarter century of the life of English artist JMW Turner. More reknowned for his gritty social-realist dramas than lavish biographical studies, Leigh brings together an ensemble of regular collaborators to breath into the eccentric character who has come to be regarded as the greatest painter Britain has produced.

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.

Timothy Spall is perfectly cast as the artist in what is arguably the strongest performance of his career to date.

Timothy Spall as JMW Turner

Mr Turner

Opens in the UK in October 2014

Cast includes Timothy Spall,  Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, Paul Jesson, Lesley Manville, Martin Savage, Ruth Sheen, David Horovitch

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