Update: See our review here and the trailer below.

Easily one of our most-anticipated amongst the Cannes line-up, Mike Leigh‘s latest drama, Mr. Turner, will premiere tomorrow. Led by frequent collaborator Timothy Spall, he plays the iconic painter J.M.W. Turner as we track the last quarter-century of his life in the 1800’s. A frequent traveler and eccentric artist, the first two clips have landed today which show both of these aspects in his life and as expected, look quite promising. Check them out below, as well as Leigh’s full director’s statement and new stills, and return for our review.

Please enable Javascript to watch this video

Please enable Javascript to watch this video

Please enable Javascript to watch this video

Back at the turn of the century, when ‘Topsy-Turvy’ was released, I wrote that it was “a film about all of us who suffer and strain to make other people laugh.”

Now I have again turned the camera round on ourselves, we who try to be artists, with all the struggles our calling demands. But making people laugh, hard as it is, is one thing; moving them to experience the profound, the sublime, the spiritual, the epic beauty and the terrifying drama of what it means to be alive on our planet – well, that’s altogether something else, and few of us ever achieve it, much as we may try.

Turner achieved all of it, of course. He was a giant among artists, single-minded and uncompromising, extraordinarily prolific, revolutionary in his approach, consummate at his craft, clairvoyant in his vision.

Yet Turner the man was eccentric, anarchic, vulnerable, imperfect, erratic and sometimes uncouth. He could be selfish and disingenuous, mean yet generous, and he was capable of great passion and poetry.

MR. TURNER is about the tensions and contrasts between this very mortal man and his timeless work, between his fragility and his strength. It is also an attempt to evoke the dramatic changes in his world over the last quarter century of his life.

Mr. Turner premieres tomorrow at Cannes at opens on December 19th.

No more articles