“Mr. Turner's” Oscar nominations speak volumes. The film is beautiful to look at (Cinematography, Production Design, Costume nominations), but the story is pretty dull (no Screenplay, Acting, or Picture nominations). The character of J.M.W. Turner is pretty interesting with his curmudgeonly attitude and unique approach to painting. I've never seen Timothy Spall in anything outside of a character role but he puts on a noteworthy performance, particularly as his character’s health declines. Still, I feel that Turner’s artwork, long ahead of the impressionist movement, is more important than the man himself. Even with its visual beauty, I don't think that "Mr. Turner" will take home any Oscars. The film does serve as an interesting period piece by offering perspective into romantic era England, particularly the musical performance in the salon and later on, Mr. Turner's first photograph. 2 1/2 hours was a pretty rough endurance test but even if “Mr. Turner” had been compressed into 90 minutes, I still think that I would have been uninterested and bored.
[Pictured: Beautiful to look at but not so much fun to watch]