Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr. Turner’ premieres at the Cannes Film Festival

By Marcina Zaccaria ,

Filmmaker Mike Leigh premiered Mr. Turner at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday.

Mr. Turner will be vying for the Palme d’Or with 17 other films at the Cannes Film Festival. The film explores the life of the British painter, J.M.W. Turner. Leigh focused the film on the last 25 years of Turner's life. Turner died in 1851.

Actor Timothy Spall stars in the film and was glad to chat about what it was like to play Turner. "What made us the perfect match, apart from anything, is he was a funny-looking, fat little man, and so am I," said Spall, according to the Associated Press. "But as far as his soul was concerned, that took a lot more research."

Spall did a lot of preparation for the role, including analyzing Turner’s painting style. Spall thought that Turner was a painter who saw "the beauty and the horror of nature."

Mike Leigh wrote and directed the film that also stars Dorothy Atkinson and Paul Jesson. Jesson plays Turner’s elderly widowed father, according to The Guardian.



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