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Acquisitions – Foreign Films

SPC Paint Mike Leigh’s JMW Turner Biopic on 2014 Canvas

After their previous collaboration in the Academy Award nominated film Another Year, Sony Pictures Classics and acclaimed director Mike Leigh will join forces to bring to screen the filmmaker’s most ambitious project yet. Interest in the untitled film about the life of master British painter J.M.W Turner is already building due to Leigh’s often utilized/favored thesp in Timothy Spall but the overall scope of the film as well – which may rival that of 2000’s Topsy-Turvy. Production will likely begin sometime this year, therefore a Cannes 2014 showing, North American film fest preems in Telluride and TIFF and several award potential appears to be in the cards.

Gist: J.M. W Turner is perhaps the most celebrated water-colorist in British history, and was one the most eccentric figures in the art circles of his time. Leigh, known for his affinity to complex interpersonal relationships, will explore, as he says, “the man, his working life, his relationships and how he lived.” Turner lived during the 19th century, a time in which the English Art Establishment was a force to be reckon with for any artist, this, as Leigh confirms, will be an essential part of the basic premise he works with — which should be a more flushed out script than what he normally works from. We foresee some tragically comedic moments.

Worth Noting: Although his films have gathered several Academy Awards wins and nominations, Leigh himself (nominated 7 times) has yet to win the AMPAS highest honor.

Do We Care? On the surface it appears as yet another British period-costume drama-biopic; however, what will set this apart is Mike Leigh’s unique approach to peculiar characters from all walks of life (Vera Drake, Secrets and Lies, Naked). On the technical side, it has potential to be a darling with critics and awards because of the names behind the visual aesthetics and art components. Recent Oscar winner for Best Costume Design Jacqueline Durran, as well as Director of Photography Dick Rope (The Illusionist, Secrets and Lies) will return to lend their talents to Leigh’s vision.

Originally from Mexico City, Carlos Aguilar is a Los Angeles based filmmaker/film journalist who has covered AFI Fest, COLCOA, and the Los Angeles International Film Festival. Top Films From Contemporary Film Auteurs: Almodóvar (Talk To Her), Coen Bros. (Blood Simple), Dardenne Bros. (Rosetta), Haneke (The White Ribbon), Hsiao-Hsien (Three Times), Kar-wai (In the Mood for Love), Kiarostami (Close-up), Lynch (Blue Velvet), Tarantino (Kill Bill vol.1), Van Sant (Elephant), von Trier (Dogville)

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