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Cannes Review: Mike Leigh's 'Mr. Turner' Ranks Among His Very Best Films

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 15, 2014 8:32 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Mr. Turner
Things acclaimed British director Mike Leigh is known for: wry comedy-drama poking at ordinary lives and the class system, a compassionate yet sharp take on the human condition, his almost unique working method that involves workshopping and improvising for months with his cast before a frame of film is shot. Things Mike Leigh is not known for: lavish biographical dramas, sweeping landscapes, gorgeous photography.

Watch: First Trailer & 2 Clips From Mike Leigh's Cannes Competition Film 'Mr. Turner' Plus New Pics

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 14, 2014 9:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Mr. Turner, Timothy Spalding
Mike Leigh's process—which includes a lengthy rehearsal process before shooting even begins—means that his films can come as quickly as a couple years apart, or in the case of "Mr. Turner," four years on since his last effort, 2010's lovely "Another Year." The latter won an Ecumenical Jury Prize at Cannes, and the director is back on the Croisette in Competition this year with a period drama about famed artist J.M.W. Turner.

First Looks At Mia Wasikowska In 'Madame Bovary,' Angelina Jolie's 'Unbroken' & Mike Leigh's Next Film

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 31, 2013 3:33 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Madame Bovary Mia Wasikowska
The American Film Market kicks off next week, which means there's going to be a lot of buyers hustling a lot of movies, and distributors and financiers look for product to put their cash into. And that means folks writing the cheques will want to see something first. And since many of these movies are mid-production or just getting started, pictures will have to suffice.

Sony Pictures Classics Picks Up Mike Leigh's Untitled J.M.W. Turner Biopic For 2014 Release

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 19, 2013 10:25 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Generally speaking, Mike Leigh's films have usually leaned toward the realistic, with dramas that feel almost like documentaries thanks to an approach that emphasizes rehearsals to find new and authentic notes for the characters the writer/director has put on the page. But could his next picture see him deliver something more in the vein of the flamboyant "Topsy-Turvy"?

Timothy Spall To Reteam With Mike Leigh To Play Painter J.M.W. Turner

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 22, 2012 10:42 AM
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  • 2 Comments
British filmmaker Mike Leigh has, like many directors who make improvisation a key part of their process, developed something of a rep company over the years, actors like Lesley Manville, Jim Broadbent, Eddie Marsan, Adrian Scarborough, Imelda Staunton and Phil Davis, who've all regularly returned to work with the director. But if Leigh has a De Niro to his Scorsese, a Kinski to his Herzog, it's probably Timothy Spall, who had a break-out role in 1990's "Life Is Sweet," before starring in "Secrets & Lies," "Topsy Turvy" and "All Or Nothing" over the next decade or so.

Watch: Trailer For TIFF-Bound British Thriller 'Wasteland' With Luke Treadaway, Iwan Rheon & Matt Lewis

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 7, 2012 2:28 PM
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  • 0 Comments
We must say that we have a certain soft spot for hardboiled British crime thrillers (everything from "The Long Good Friday" to "RockNRolla"), so it's not going to take a lot to sway us to the particular charms of "Wasteland," the debut feature from writer/director Rowan Athale, which is set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival tonight. (You guys have your tickets?)

Review: 'Assassin's Bullet' Is A Spectacularly Inept Action Movie

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 2, 2012 10:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Even by the admittedly low standards of a basically direct-to-video, shot-in-Bulgaria action thriller starring Christian Slater and Donald Sutherland as a pair of weathered old spies, "Assassin's Bullet" is a fucking chore. It seems to have been created at some kind of magical nexus where sluggish plotting, technical ineptitude, and iffy performances meet. It's a smorgasbord of awfulness, but one that you can't even find yourself enjoying, in a guilty pleasure, can-you-honestly-believe-this? way. It would be lucky to be one of those movies they premiere on Cinemax on Friday nights starring actors who clearly owed the IRS something.

Imogen Poots & 'Submarine' Star Craig Roberts To Star In Heist Romance 'Comes A Bright Day'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 11, 2011 10:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Kevin McKidd & Timothy Spall Also In Cast, Paul Smith To Design CostumesWe're not sure if there's ever been a documented case of a romance springing out of a bank robbery. We're pretty sure we'd be too busy trying to not get shot to get our flirt on with an attractive stranger, but maybe that's just us. In the movies, however, nothing seems to get the blood rushing to the important areas than being held up, or holding up: from "The Thomas Crown Affair" to "A Fish Called Wanda" to last year's "The Town," screenwriters seem to believe that heists and the big L-O-V-E go hand in hand.

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