MR. TURNER

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MR. TURNER is an exploration of the last 25 years of English painter J. M. W. Turner, from 1826 to 1851. The movie is very well done, but contains some strong lewd content and no redemptive content as it explores art for art’s sake and an artist who seems driven by personal desires.
Starring Timothy Spall as the painter, the movie shows Turner being deeply affected by the death of his beloved father. He’s also loved by his housekeeper, Hannah Danby, whom he takes for granted and sometimes exploits sexually. Finally, the movie explores Turner’s courtship and relationship with a coastal property-owner and widow, Sophia Booth. He secretly lives with her in Chelsea, where he eventually dies.
Throughout all this, Mr. Turner travels, paints, stays with the country’s nobility, visits brothels, is a prevalent member of the Royal Academy of Arts, has himself strapped to the mast of a ship so he can paint a thunderstorm, and is both admired and despised by the general public and the elite.
MR. TURNER has a strong pagan worldview. The protagonist often uses his prestigious status, which stems from being a magnificent and popular painter, for self-entitlement purposes. Thus, throughout the movie, he takes for granted and occasionally sexually exploits his housekeeper. Secondly, there are a few scenes that depict him behaving in a condescending, antagonistic manner to other painters. In one scene, he even marks up another painter’s perfectly crafted masterpiece. Finally, in another scene he has himself strapped to the flagpole of a ship so he can paint a thunderstorm, revealing he believes he can defy the powers of nature and nature’s God for his art.
The protagonist’s pagan behavior is mixed with some Romanticism. For example, Turner often lives according to his feelings and emotions. Also, the movie seems to take a Romantic view of art as personal self-expression.
Of course, God gives talents and gifts for His glory and to bless others. As the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” In Romans 12:6, Paul says, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.” Before giving this advice, Paul writes in Romans 12:3, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Therefore, believers should use all gifts and talents, including artistic gifts, humbly while remembering that they are given by grace for the purpose of bringing glory to God and of bringing wisdom to the Body of Christ.
Despite these problems, MR. TURNER is extremely well done, with outstanding acting, terrific cinematography and brilliantly immersive period detail.
MR. TURNER accurately represents the last quarter century of the famous English painter J. M. W. Turner and his historical period. The movie of course doesn’t fully present every event in the life of Mr. Turner during his last 25 years of life, but it definitely highlights the most important events, especially the death of his beloved father, which affected him greatly. The movie doesn’t just highlight important life events, it also dives deep into and tackles the psychological, emotional and artistic complexities of those the painter’s life and art. It also does a great job at presenting the historical period. Everything from the architecture to the clothes that the actors wear absolutely does justice to the 19th Century. Viewers will really feel as if they have traveled back through time.
The cinematography is also outstanding. All the scenes that display nature, especially those that capture Mr. Turner traveling through nature, are beautifully shot and contribute greatly to the movie’s artistic value.
Finally, the acting is also terrific. The actors, especially Timothy Spall as Mr. Turner, truly seem to embrace their characters, and their acting really helps convey the emotions, pain and personality of each character. The award-winning acting allows viewers to develop a deep connection and understanding of the characters. The acting is also emotionally cathartic.
Overall, MR. TURNER is an interesting historical and biographical drama. It’s not God-centered, but it is beautifully made. In addition to the pagan worldview, the movie contains some adult content warranting extreme caution.

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