140 Great Directors: Mike Leigh

“But now I think I’ve been remarkably lucky to have made 17 full-length films in which nobody has ever interfered, ever.”


What Got This Director Here?
: Body of work.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Vera Drake.

What Did I Watch: Mr. Turner.

Where Does He Fit: Mr. Turner is an odd one. The cinematography is jaw dropping and Dick Pope deserves a standing ovation for his work here, this is the ultimate demo reel. The acting is all-around stupendous, as is to be expected from Leigh. I like how the scenes just exist in their own space to form an overall impression. However, this is not quite deserving of 150 minutes of material, with biopic tropes being unavoidable and a lot of the same kind of jokes rooted in grunting. It’s a very easy work to enjoy, and has meta aspects worked in like mad that give it plenty of depth, but connecting with it, I feel, would require a very specific wavelength.

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Most Valuable Asset: Actors and his skill with them.
Most Excited For: Naked.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: Rob Reiner, this high off his early stuff.

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