I am a cinephile.
I can easily do difficult movies. Under The Skin. The White Ribbon. Cache. Jeez I can do all the tough stuff.
I am a Mike Leigh-phile too.
Secrets and Lies, Naked, Life is Sweet, Abigail’;s Party, Nuts in May. All brilliant.
I am a Timothy Spall-phile also. (Just too many to mention)
And so I approached Mr Turner with gusto. I like Turner’s seascapes very much. What is there not to like?
It turns out, quite a lot.
To cut to the chase this is one of the dullest 2.5 hours I have spent in a cinema in many a long year. Turgid, plotless, meandering, self-indulgent claptrap of the highest order.
The cinematography has its moments but it takes a lot of moments to make a movie.
There are scenes that are enjoyable, largely in the Royal Academy and one in particular when Constable is ridiculed by Turner but overall it is a study in very dull misogyny that the world is probably no worse without.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this movie was the development of his supposed housekeeper Hannah Dandy’s (Dorothy Atkinson) eczema. Was she, or was she not, Turner’s wife/mistress/muse?
Turner-phile ladies sat behind me in the audience and whispered throughout. Damn them.
Mike Leigh’s worst film by a country mile.