Mr. Turner: Movie Thoughts

SYNOPSIS: A look at the last quarter century of the great British painter J. M. W. Turner. Profoundly affected by the death of his esteemed father, loved by his housekeeper, Hannah Danby, whom he takes for granted and occasionally exploits sexually, he forms a close and loving relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea, where he dies.

Throughout all this, Turner travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits a brothel, 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.

MY THOUGHTS: So here's a movie you've never heard of. Unless you watch my daily vlog, then you basically know what this is going to be about.
Otherwise, here we go.

For the record, that is the official synopsis above. Rather spoilery isn't it? Had I read that before seeing the movie, I might not have gone. The trailer, however, painted (Haha, coincidental pun) a more upbeat story. Don't misunderstand me, we weren't fooled.

The filmed earned several awards for things like Best Costume Design and Best Set Design. This is a pretty big clincher that the movie will be overly artsy. Artsy films end with the death of the protagonist about 80% of the time. Critics love these sort of movies and normal folk, like me, don't. As proven by this: "Mr. Turner has a "certified fresh" score of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes based on critic reviews, but a score of only 59% based on audience reviews."

But before you think this post is one big "I hated Mr. Turner" bash, just hold on. I appreciated Mr. Turner. It deserved every award it got. The acting was good and interesting. The scenery was stunning. Blew my mind a few times. I laughed a few times and felt for some of the characters.

The big flaw was in post production, I would say. The story had no point. I walked out of it feeling nothing. Much of the story was disjointed and didn't make much sense. Characters lived and died, and I didn't really care. The music was horrid. Oh, it was bad. During scenes with beautiful landscapes the music was like that from a slasher film. Yes, it was that bad.

I would say the part I liked best about the movie was how they captured the nature of an artist. I may not be a painter, but as a writer I related. His life was his work. He based everything around it, just as I do. I appreciated these moments more than anything.

Oh, I'd also like to give big props to the cinematography. There were a few scenes that were just masterful. It was like a stage play at times. But the camera flowed through the scene and everyone had to be on point when the camera came to them. Then the scene ended and you wanted to applaud them for doing so much in a single take. Those scenes, I will remember best.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I would not recommend Mr. Turner. Unless most of the
stuff I hated sounded good to you, then have at it. To everyone else, I say to avoid it. If it's a cleaning day and you find it on TV, then put it on. Let the beautiful scenery flash across the screen while you vacuum. You might enjoy it.

Thanks for reading. <3 -Lindsay Mead

Watch my vlog from the day we saw Mr. Turner.

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