Directed by Mike Leigh
Opens December 19
Mike Leigh’s film about JMW Turner would be just as magnificent were it not about an artist but simply a man of his time (and not just ahead of it). Which is another way of saying that Timothy Spall’s performance as the self-assured, brusque, deeply Romantic painter creates such a complete personality and physical presence that the notion that he is historically a Great Man is very nearly less impressive than the seamless character artistry transpiring before our eyes. Spall finds the laboriously gallant delivery, the lung-ravaging horks, the weak-chin pursing and walking-stick brandishing, the swagger and the tearful jags, the preternatual clarity of intelligence that defines an artist of truly far-reaching vision.