A grumbling, corpulent and creaky old man, quite brilliantly played by Timothy Spall, makes his entrance in a house in 1840s England somewhere. So begins Mike Leigh’s new film, many interpreted as a disguised self-portrait. I do not know how it is with it, but in both cases the issue of older men and wayward artists, where the image compositions of light and dark is the essence of the expressions.
The eccentric landscape painter William Turner (1775 -1851) was both praised and questioned during his lifetime. Mike Leigh’s film depicts the last years of his life, the period when his paintings were more dissolved motifs, painted in a technique that foreshadowed Impressionism. The neat, naturalistic sceneries became blurred in outline. Clearly, not all of the relevant time more neat konstförsåsigpåare realized Turner quantity thereof. But this is portrayed more in the film’s periphery.
Mike Leigh and photographer Dick Pope has in the film recreated some of the events and environments that inspired William Turner. For example, when Turner lets himself lashed to a båtmast to experience a blizzard, or when he saw warship Temeraire towed to their final resting place, which then resulted in the iconic painting “The Fighting Temeraire”. A few years ago named it the premier British artwork ever.
But mostly this movie on Turner’s last years of his life and his well documented complicated women’s stories. For example, he had an extramarital history with a woman in the same city that resulted in two daughters. She looks now and then and speak angrily about how sorry they are for those who can not take financial part of Turner success. He sometimes staying under another name with a sailor’s widow – why, one wonders, is his celebrity status for heavy to carry? – And at home in the house with the studio, he has a faithful servant. She loves him, silently and submissively and he uses her mindlessly. The latter Women’s portrait is probably Leigh’s own completion.
Timothy Spall grunts his way through most of it in the role of the artist, captures still both his complicated psyche and his pursuit of beauty in the picture. And that almost always when it comes to British film is meticulous assembly and detail big on the environments and the cast passable down to the smallest supporting role. Most of the proceeds are perhaps interested in art. But it is egentlighen to have seen any of Turner’s pictures to be struck by the intelligent depicted the contrast of the film between the artist and his expression.