Mr. Turner (1)

We went to what felt like an artists’ screening of Mr. Turner at the Rich Mix with all the local artists out in force to assess the veracity of its depiction of a painter.   What was the verdict ?  Very convincing:  an amazing performance by Timothy Spall conveying the arrogant, uncouth and hog-like characteristics of Turner and his visual obsession with boats and sky;  a historically well-judged depiction of the politics of the RA, including Constable being rebuffed on varnishing day;  admirable performances by Paul Jesson as Turner’s father and Marion Bailey as Mrs. Booth;  and exceptional in the way that the film does (and does not) show Turner actually painting, much more persuasive than most depictions of painting on film (you only have to think of The Draughtsman’s Contract).   My only quibbles were that his house in Harley Street looked too new, Queen Victoria never visited Somerset House, and Ruskin was not such a twerp.


2 thoughts on “Mr. Turner (1)

  1. Edward Chaney says:

    ???oh really Carlo… it was surely too self-indulgently long, too dickensianly (bbc childrens-televisionly) caricatured and too leftily (inversely) fascinated by class and dosh status; and as for poor Ruskin… ‘not such a twerp’? if only one could sue on behalf of the greatest ever describer of art and nature? x e


    • Dear Edward, I was judging it by the standards of its competitors. I thought it was a good subject; fairly historically accurate; and legitimately preoccupied by class, which was surely a big factor in Turner’s character and success. Charles

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