Timothy Spall

Mr. Turner – Spall Transforms Turner Into a Piece of Art Himself

TURN

Mike Leigh’s biopic Mr Turner is something of a gorgeous gargoyle. Much like Timothy Spall’s portrayal, the film dances between the binaries of a Dickensian period piece: sure there’s the sense of class and quaint Britishness we love in these types of films, but there’s also this breath of fresh air when all the warts of Turner and his time are exposed to see. I’ve seen similar British biographical films before, which, while enjoyable for the most part, all share a sense of idealising their figures. You can’t help but see them as a bit too picturesque to be all true. Leigh may also paint Turner’s life as beautifully as the artist’s own landscapes, but he isn’t afraid to show the blemishes in the portrait.

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