J. Owen | San Francisco, Ca | 08/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Beautiful cinematography, excellent script, thoughtful, excellent acting, combined with understated direction offers a glimpse into a very profound reawakening of life.
Anne Reid delivers a brilliant performance as May, transforming from grandmother, mother and wife, to lover. She opens the film with her husband (played by Peter Vaughan), as dull and preoccupied. Her life appears to be lived `asleep at the wheel'.
The ensuing speed of her husband's unexpected death, the tremendous state of shock, and the subsequent `awakening' surpassed my description of `beautiful portrayed'. Daniel Craig delivers a complex performance as May's daughter's married lover Darren. He pulls off an even deeper character complexity with the ensuing love affair (older woman and a younger man). May and Darren are passionately, tastefully and believably depicted. May's adult children Bobby (Steven Mackintosh), and Paula (Cathryn Bradshaw) bring their characters to life.
The Mother (2003) is a beautiful film that would best be seen in a darkened cinema. Fortunately, it transfers well to DVD and the small screen with the huge perk of a selection choice of the director's comments that you can turn on for the second viewing. This DVD also contacts a `Featurette' containing short interviews with one of the actors, Daniel Craig, the director, Roger Michell and screenwriter, Hanif Kureishi.Roger Mitchell has it in him to direct great films, and he can add The Mother to his successes. Hanif Kureishi remains a genius at capturing interpersonal chemistry between characters through fantastic dialogue, which bleeds beyond the family into the `extended family and friends'.
One of the many examples of the unpredictably, beautiful cinematography slipped in when May was washing her face, after her 'awakening'. The camera films from below the glass sink through the air bubbles, viewing up to the surface, to May dunking her hands into the water to slash her face; an elegant metaphor.
This film pivots around a dramatic event tendering a slice of life, which felt true to me. I came away from The Mother with the feeling that brilliant flames can erupt into a seemingly sleeping life with the disheveled, unpredictable stuff of life ensuing.
Rodney J. Moss | 06/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A brilliant, brilliant movie. I can't heap sufficient praise on its every aspect. There's an intensity and honesty of Kureishi's script. The spartan sets, the camera switching between intimate details of faces, slippers, fumbling hands and domestic, cool lit rooms, especially from hall to the renovated conservatory; so elegant. The central dynamic between the mum,Anne Reid, daughter, Cathryn Bradshaw, and the lover of both, Dan Craig is one of the most enduring I've beheld. All are, as is aptly said by another reviewer, 'mired in dysfunction'. A profound event!"
She could have won the Oscar!
Sylviastel | 05/09/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anne Reid is better known in her native Britain on stage, film, and television. In this rare film, she plays May, a newly widowed housewife from the London suburbs who moves to London to be closer to her adult children but is often seen as an inconvenience. She develops a friendship with Darren, the contractor who works in her son's home and is currently involved with May's daughter Paula. He's also married and has an autistic son. Daniel Craig plays Darren and he does a brilliant job in his role.
The relationship between Darren and May slowly evolve. May is not the woman that she appears to be but she is every woman in actuality. She goes her days alone in London by visiting the Tate Modern Museum, the London Eye, and the British Museum by herself. Her performance begins as a dedicated wife to Toote who didn't her having other friends in their home. When he passes away, we slowly learn more about May, the mother herself, and the film reveals the character like peeling back an onion layer by layer.
To her children, May is not supposed to have sexuality because it would be so un-maternal. May is a woman and a human being who was married for a long time. She felt that she would never be desired again or touched again. You can feel and see Anne Reid's heartbreaking performance. Daniel Craig is also wonderful in his pre-Bond role as troubled Darren.
The supporting cast includes Oliver Ford Davies, a well-known British theatrical actor, as a possible suitor, Bruce."