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Mr Turner biopic tops complaints

Published 14/07/2015

Timothy Spall starred in the title role in Mr Turner
Timothy Spall starred in the title role in Mr Turner

Mike Leigh's Oscar-nominated artistic biopic Mr Turner won its star, Timothy Spall, the best actor award at Cannes, but has now earned a more unlikely accolade - the year's most complained about film.

The movie, which starred Spall as the painter JMW Turner, caused more controversy with cinema goers than any other, according to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

Its annual report stated that 19 people complained about a scene in the film, which had a 12A classification, where Spall's " clothed buttocks are seen clenching vigorously, before the scene cuts to a close-up of his face and his thrusting head and shoulders".

The BBFC said the 19 complaints were "a very low figure for most complained-about film, and is a tiny proportion of those who will have seen it".

It added that the scene was acceptable in a 12A film, "g iven the lack of nudity, the relative brevity of the scene and its importance in terms of narrative".

The next most complained about film was the Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave, which got a dozen complaints for a scene where a slave was shown being raped.

The BBFC report, which covers January to December 2014, is published today.

The most complained about film in 2013 was the Tom Cruise thriller Jack Reacher, which some cinemagoers regarded as too dark for a 12A.

The most complained about film of recent years was Batman: The Dark Knight, with more than 300 complaints about the 2008 film which starred Christian Bale as the masked superhero and Heath Ledger as The Joker.

The BBFC classified more than 950 films for cinema release last year.

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