Sunday, February 8, 2015

MR. TURNER - 4 nominations

Cinematography - Dick Pope
Music (Original Score) - Gary Yershon
Costume Design - Jaqueline Durran
Production Design - Suzie Davies (Production Design); Charlotte Watts (Set Decoration)

Mr Turner is a biopic of British painter J.M.W. Turner toward the end of his life.  He is deeply affected by the death of his father, and lashes out at those around him who love him; which is a small handful of people.  He travels the country and occasionally stays in a bed and breakfast under an assumed name, he visits brothels and paints the inhabitants, and is both adored by the public and often reviled, as well.

Mr. Turner, while beautifully shot, and while being a period piece about an artist - the perfect set up for costume and production design, and while being supported by a lovely original score, is an incredibly difficult movie to love.  It is painfully slow, the lead character mumbles and grunts so he is difficult to understand (played by the wonderful character actor Timothy Spall), and the best parts of the film are the landscapes and scenery, which are hardly enough for a great movie going experience.

I really wanted to love this film because it has a superb cast and so much that is beautiful to look at. There is enough material for a really good biography of Turner, but it was way too long and way too slow to be good.  I dearly wish I could recommend it, so I'll recommend finding an installation of the real Mr. Turner's work, and enjoy his immense talent instead.

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