'Mr. Turner' a dull portrait of great painter

January 29, 2015 4:31 PM

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"Mr. Turner" is a flaccid, interminable movie by a talented director, Mike Leigh, which means it has its moments, but moments are all you get. The movie seems as if it were made as a halfhearted response to a question that no one, in fact, was asking, "What was J.M.W. Turner really like?"

It's a movie in one key, at one speed, measured to the point of stillness. When we meet Turner (Timothy Spall), he is in his late 40s and living with his father (Paul Jesson). The refinement of his artistry and the turbulence of his vision are in no way discernible in his manner. He is corpulent and...

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