Timothy Spall Praised For Portrayal Of J.M.W. Turner

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British actor Timothy Spall received great critics, and has been named as an early Oscars nominee after he amazed the audience at the Cannes International Film Festival.

He was praised for his role as a 19th century painter J.M.W. Turner in director Mike Leigh’s newest biopic.

Mr. Turner, which presents the painter’s rise to stardom from the mid-1820s, premiered at the annual French festival on Thursday, May 15.

It opened to very good reviews, with The Hollywood Reporter’s Leslie Felpering praising the star for his “masterful performance”. She also said it was the role he was “born to play”.

The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw awarded the movie with five out of five stars. He wrote, “Every scene in this film is expertly managed; every comic line and funny moment adroitly presented and every performance given with intelligence and love. It is another triumph for Mike Leigh and for Timothy Spall.”

Time Out’s Dave Calhoun also gave Mr. Turner top marks, declaring it “an extraordinary film, all at once strange, entertaining, thoughtful and exciting”.

The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin praised Spall for what could probably be “the finest performance of his career”, and Variety’s Scott Foundas said the “exquisitely detailed, brilliantly-acted biopic” is “a natural awards contender”.

The high praise for Mr. Turner, Leigh’s first movie in four years, has made the movie a top favourite to win Cannes’ prestigious Palme d’Or award, which will be handed out later in May.

Other movies competing include Ken Loache’s Jimmy’s Hall, David Cronenberg’s Map to the Stars and The Homesman, directed by actor Tommy Lee Jones.

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