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Mike Leigh film on painter Turner tipped for Cannes Palme d'Or

Published on May 20, 2014 6:42 AM
British director Mike Leigh attends the press conference for the film, Mr Turner during the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France on 15 May 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: EPA

CANNES, France (REUTERS) - British director Mike Leigh says he was “terrified” at the prospect of capturing the scope and subtlety of a Turner painting in a film.

But his cinematic portrait of the life of the artist known for his sweeping seascapes is an early favourite to win the Cannes Film Festival’s top prize, the Palme D’Or.

Screen International’s survey of critics published on Monday tipped Mr Turner for the prize, just ahead of Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep.

“It’s a tough subject for a film,” Leigh said in an interview with Reuters TV. “I mean, to make a film about what to some people is an obscure 19th century painter, to make such a film without compromise. I mean we haven’t had to Hollywood-ise it in any way and it is an independent picture.”

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