Mike Leigh

United Kingdom, France, Germany, 2014 / 149 min / English OV with French & Dutch subt. (EN OV with FR & NL subt.) / biographie / Biopic / Biopic

Mr. Turner explores the last quarter century of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). In those years, he lives with his father, who also works as his assistant, and his housekeeper, whose love he takes for granted and whom he occasionally exploits sexually. Throughout his life, he travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, is a popular if anarchic member of the Royal Academy of Arts, has himself strapped to the mast of a ship so that he can paint a snowstorm, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty. But once the news of his father’s death reaches him, he is profoundly affected, and chooses to live in isolation. His old habits only change upon meeting Mrs Booth, a seaside landlady with whom he eventually moves incognito to Chelsea before his own death.

“Turner the man was eccentric, anarchic, vulnerable, imperfect, erratic and sometimes uncouth. He could be selfish and disingenuous, mean yet generous, and he was capable of great passion and poetry. Mr. Turner is about the tensions and contrasts between this very mortal man and his timeless work, between his fragility and his strength. It is also an attempt to evoke the dramatic changes in his world over the last quarter century of his life.” Director’s statement by Mike Leigh

Wed 13/03 16:00 Ciné Utopia EN OV with FR & NL subt Public

“A magnificent growling-bear performance by Timothy Spall is just one of the masterful brushstrokes in this lusty, physical, spit-and-spunk portrait of JMW Turner from singular British screen artist Mike Leigh.”  Mark Kermode, The Guardian, 02.11.2014

“Leigh’s biopic of the great Romantic painter is a wickedly gruff late-life tragicomedy and class critique.” Isabel Stevens, Sight & Sound, 24.05.2017

"Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, richly detailed character study with a magnificent central performance from Timothy Spall. This may be 19th-century costume fare but it is made with the same precise attention to its protagonists' yearnings and comic foibles as we find in Leigh's contemporary dramas with Spall, whether Secrets and Lies or his woefully underrated All Or Nothing." Geoffrey MacNab, The Independent, 30.10.2014

  • Best Cinematography Award, British Society of Cinematographers, 2015 (United Kingdom)
  • Best Actor – Timothy Spall, Cannes Film Festival, 2014 (France)
  • Vulcain Prize for the Technical Artist – Dick Pope, Cannes Film Festival, 2014 (France)
  • Capri Actor Award – Timothy Spall, Capri, Hollywood, 2014 (USA)
  • Capri Cult Award – Timothy Spall, Capri, Hollywood, 2014 (USA)
  • European Film Award – European Actor, European Film Awards, 2014 (Spain)
  • ICS Award – Best Cinematography, International Cinephile Society Awards, 2015 (Online)
  • ALFS Award British Actor of the Year – Timothy Spall, London Critics Circle Film Awards, 2015 (UK)
  • NBR Award – Best Cinematography, National Society of Film Critics Awards, 2015 (USA)
  • NYFCC Award Best Actor – Timothy Spall, New York Film Critics Circle Awards, 2014 (USA)
  • NYFCO Award – Top Films of the Year, New York Film Critics Online, 2014 (USA)
  • Artisan Award – Suzie Davis, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, 2015 (USA)
  • Satellite Award – Best Cinematography, Satellite Awards, 2014 (USA)
  • Asecan Award – Special Mention, Seville European Film Festival, 2014 (Spain)
  • Best Actor – Timothy Spall, Seville European Film Festival, 2014 (Spain)
  • Best Director, Seville European Film Festival, 2014 (Spain)
Cast & Credits
Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey, Paul Jesson, Lesley Manville, Martin Savage, Ruth Sheen
Mike Leigh
Dick Pope
Tim Fraser
Suzie Davies
Gary Yershon
Thin Man Film, Film4, Focus Features International, Xofa Productions
Diaphana, France 3 Cinéma, Amusement Park Films, Untitled 13
Entertainment One

Born in Salford, Manchester, in 1943, Mike Leigh has developed a unique method of creating films through controlled improvisation and is one of the figureheads of European social realism. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Camberwell, Central Art School in London and at the London Film School, of which he was Chairman until 2018. After his debut Bleak Moments (1971) he made a succession of admired TV plays, including Abigail's Party (1977) and Nuts in May (1976). He then returned to feature films with the social satire High Hopes (1988), Life is Sweet (1990) and Naked (1993). Secrets & Lies won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1996. Topsy-Turvy (1999) won two Oscars. All or Nothing followed in 2002. Since then he has made the Oscar-nominated Vera Drake (2004), which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), Another Year (2010), Mr Turner (2014) and Peterloo (2018). In 1993, Mike Leigh became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire”.

  • 2018 – Peterloo
  • 2014 – Mr. Turner
  • 2012 – A Running Jump (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2010 – Another Year
  • 2008 – Happy-Go-Lucky
  • 2004 – Vera Drake
  • 2002 – All or Nothing
  • 1999 – Topsy-Turvy
  • 1997 – Career Girls
  • 1996 – Secrets & Lies
  • 1993 – Naked
  • 1992 – A Sense of History (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 1990 – Life Is Sweet
  • 1987 – The Short & Curlies (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 1988 – High Hopes
  • 1984 – Four Days in July
  • 1984 – Meantime
  • 1982 – Five-Minute Films (5 épisodes de la série TV / 5 episodes of the TV series / 5 Folgen der Fernsehserie)
  • 1973-1982 Play for Today (6 épisodes de la série TV / 6 episodes of the TV series / 6 Folgen der Fernsehserie)
  • 1980 – BBC2 Playhouse: Grown-Ups (1 épisode de la série TV / 1 episode of the TV Series / 1 Folge der Fernsehserie)
  • 1975-1976 – Second City Firsts (2 épisodes de la série TV / 2 episodes of the TV series / 2 Folgen der Fernsehserie)
  • 1973 – Scene: A Mug’s Game (1 épisode de la série documentaire / 1 episode of the documentary TV series / 1 Folge der Dokumentarfernsehserie)
  • 1971 – Bleak Moments