10. Mr Turner “Ultramarine’s gone up to a guinea a bladder!” cries William “Daddy” Turner. “Gawd, strewth, that brigand’s still robbing us!” responds his son in Covent Garden cockney, who happens to be the famous painter JMW Turner. Any apprehension that Mike Leigh’s biopic of Turner will descend into bloodless, well-mannered heritage cinema are well and truly buried with this exchange This ripe, gamey dialogue is one of the most obviously impressive aspects of Mr Turner; and it’s backed up with a whole gallery of tremendous performances. Spall’s towering presence in the central role is unquestionably a masterpiece of Dickensian proportions – by turns passionate, mischevious, cerebral and melancholy. It’s become bit of a cliche to describe Leigh’s films in these terms – what with the exaggerated physical characteristics, the ferocious comic tone, and the unabashed assault on social iniquities – there’s no getting away from it with Mr Turner, which timewise lands smack-dab in Dickens’ middle period. But Leigh’s film rises well above mere pastiche: this is a finely detailed, and wholly alive, portrait of an exceptional human being, rendered with committment and love. You can’t ask for more than that. Andrew Pulver 9. The Lego Movie Everything is… Read full this story
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