J.M.W. Turner was an 18th century English proto-Impressionist noted for his uncanny ability to “paint light.” Dick Pope is director Mike Leigh’s go-to cinematographer, and it is a fortunate thing for art lovers and moviegoers alike that he was the one to shoot this visually astounding, unconventional biopic.

Character actor Timothy Spall, also a frequent Leigh collaborator, has the lead role of a lifetime as the unpleasant, curmudgeonly and inconsiderate visionary oddball. Those on the right wavelength will be enthralled. Those unfortunates that are not may compare it to, um, watching paint dry. Japanese title: Turner, Hikari ni Ai wo Motomete. (150 min)