Another chance to have a brush with Mr Turner at Royston’s Palace

Timothy Spall stars in Mr Turner

Timothy Spall stars in Mr Turner - Credit: Photograph: Allstar/FILM4/Sports

It might not be much of a consolation to Mike Leigh and Timothy Spall after being left out in the cold at the Baftas and ignored in the running for Oscar glory – but their much-praised biopic of Britain’s greatest ever artist will be back on screen at Royston’s Picture Palace this week.

Mr Turner was hailed as a masterpiece when it first appeared, winning film festival gongs and critical praise alike.

The warts and all portrayal of JMW Turner’s passion for painting and unconventional private life was a tour de force for Tim, who painstakingly learned how to knock off a convincing work of art in his lengthy research for the role.

But by the time the big hitters of movieland drew up their list of nominations for the top awards, its star had fallen for some reason.

No matter, it’s still an illuminating film in more ways than one, and it’s showing at the Picture Palace tomorrow, Friday, night.

Saturday afternoon offers a half-term holiday family-friendly option in the form of Penguins Of Madagascar, the latest instalment in the successful animation franchise which turns its back on A-list vocal talent and concentrates on serving up a fun adventure.

There’s not much fun to be had in Testament Of Youth, the very respectful big screen version of Vera Brittain’s seminal First World War story which was also a successful BBC series in the 1970s.

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Everyone looks gorgeous despite the mud and blood of the trenches, the suddenly ubiquitous Alicia Vikander is the central character, and there’s no denying it’s a handsome way to pass a couple of hours. The horrors of war told from a female perspective adds a fresh perspective, but it still treads very familiar ground.

It’s being screened on Saturday at 7.30pm and on Sunday afternoon at 5pm.

Visit to book tickets for any of the shows.

It’s a bit of a quiet week on the multiplex front. Chris Hemsworth stars as a hacker hired to bust a cyber-crime network in Michael Mann’s edgy, high-tech thriller Blackhat.

Jennifer Aniston goes for award-friendly ugly drama in Cake with a performance that critics have hailed as fearless and vanity free, but her central character in a tale of love and loss is certainly hard to like.

In Project Almanac a group of teens travel back in time with shocking consequences in a cautionary sci-fi thriller, and there’s also Kevin Hart in The Wedding Ringer, an obvious comedy about a groom who hires a professional best man which is enormously pleased with itself.