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Mr. Turner and Time

Mr. Turner, Written and Directed by Mike Leigh, 2014 — A windmill, a silvery river. From the right two women in peaked white Dutch caps walk into the frame, continuing on in a gentle diagonal along the river bank, talking together in intimate good-humored conversation. Is it sunrise or sunset? This is a question that will turn out to matter. They walk lower left out of the frame, revealing Turner behind them, a monolith, a stone of Stonehenge, on a rise. A Monolith Two girls return, a different pair, giggling together in complicit intimacy as they run up a flight of stairs. Turner has arrived! He strides through the rooms of a country estate, a good fellow at ease among his patrons, men who are as willing to debate the nature … [Read more...]

Happy Go Lucky

In which a cheerful, sometimes obtuse, young female primary school teacher takes driving lessons with a rage-ridden instructor, helps a child in need, and ultimately finds her Prince Charming. All I knew was that in Happy Go Lucky,  Mike Leigh had come up with this truly repellant character that made people want to gouge her eyes out or spit on the ground with disgust, because she was too damn happy. I put off seeing it, although I was intrigued. Then Nancy asked me to write about it. So I watched the IMDb trailer first and saw as cloying a scene as I could recall, though every millimeter a Mike Leigh joint, with Poppy (Sally Hawkins) in a fabulously fake-y fifties-style flirtation with the handsome and equally fake Tim (Samuel … [Read more...]