The Mother

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The Mother ★★★ 2003 (R)

Reid gives a ferociously honest performance as the 60-ish May, a lifelong suburban wife and mother left bereft of purpose when her husband (Vaughn) suddenly dies. She moves to London to live temporarily with her preoccupied son Bobby (Mackintosh) and his indifferent wife Helen (Wilson Jones) and tries to straighten out the life of her self-pitying divorcee daughter, Paula (Bradshaw). Paula is involved in a messy relationship with rugged married builder, Darren (Craig). May finds herself attracted to the younger man's unexpected kindness and, unresigned to going quietly into old age, also begins an affair with the weak-willed Darren—the revelation of which causes no end of drama. The only false note comes in a late scene when May allows Paula to take her rage out on her mother by hitting her. The newly liberated May should have instead knocked her whiny child on her ass. 111m/C VHS, DVD . GB Anne Reid, Daniel Craig, Steven Mackintosh, Cathryn Bradshaw, Oliver Ford Davies, Peter Vaughan, Anna Wilson Jones; D: Roger Michell; W: Hanif Kureishi; C: Alwin Kuchler; M: Jeremy Sams.

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The Mother

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