Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cecilia's Movie Review of "Mr. Turner"

We saw the movie, Mr. Turner, a two hour and forty minute film about the English seascape painter from the 19th century.

The film focused on the last two decades of the painter's life and showed in interesting detail the world and people around him. It was the time when the steam ship and engines were just starting, when people gathered in sitting rooms to discuss gooseberry or art instead of watching a football or basketball game on TV.

The movie depicted a man who was already successful as an artist, who rubbed elbows with the other "old boys" in that artist network, a man who had a passion for seascapes (and landscapes too), but who bungled his relationships with his daughters and their mother, and his housekeeper whom he had sex with whenever he wished, but with whom he couldn't exchange a lengthy sentence. He did fall in love with a widow, Mrs. Booth, with whom he spent the last 18 years of his life.

While he showed compassion to another artist who could not manage his finances, overall, Turner came across as a grunting, gross human being. I did not dislike him entirely, but I did wonder at how God dispenses His gifts, in this case the extraordinary gift of painting on this charmless man.

I was also interested in the movie in technical terms; in many ways it is more of a "character sketch" than a "story." There was a character arc, there was character change and development, but it was very subtle. The movie showed us a slice of Mr. Turner's life and times. There was an interesting scene of him standing on a boat, along with others, and the camera lingered on the couple beside him who were bickering. There was another scene where he had a singing session with a royal-sort of woman. What I'm getting at is that in this movie, the camera tried to show us what Turner may have seen, including those that inspired him. We do get some breathtaking images, including the opening scene in Holland with two Dutch women and the windmill.

The movie was long and plodding, but I was not bored, and became in fact interested in the man, so that I had to look him up when I got home.

This is an aside: There is some annoyance at Sony for pulling off the movie, The Interview, because of the principles involved. Americans and America do not want to be bullied by (as Obama said) "some dictator somewhere." And as a writer for the Los Angeles Times said, "It may not be a great film, but it's our not-so-great film."

Christmas is creeping up on us. I hope you are enjoying the holidays, dear Readers.

Read also

  • Pope Francis' Forthcoming Papal Visit to the Philippines
  • Keep Calm Six Days Until Christmas!
  • Ghostbusters of the Philippines: Tony Perez..
  • True Story - The Ghost Children in Amboise, France...

  • True Story: A Ghost Story, from Joan Cuyugan Bohlmann.

  • Tags: movie, reviews, media, film, Mr. Turner, English painter, seascapes
    This is all for now,


    Unknown said...

    JMW Turner was his own man, misunderstood by his own generation let alone the ones now.

    Unknown said...

    Unbelievably brilliant performance.