Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 269: Sat Sep 26

The Mother (Michell, 2003): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6.20pm


This overlooked film is one of John Waters' selections to accompany his season at BFI Southbank. Here (at the bottom of the page) are all the movies Waters has selected, which included the delirious Trog and the brilliant and underrated The Deep Blue Sea.

Time Out review:
Anyone who thought the film Calendar Girls bottled it will find this an altogether meatier proposition. Scripted by the congenitally unsentimental Hanif Kureishi, The Mother gives Anne Reid the role of a lifetime as the recently widowed May, who comes down to stay with her middle class son in London and can't find the courage to leave. Even then, it's only her son's friend Darren (Daniel Craig) who sees May as a person, not an antiquated nuisance. They become friends and, secretly, lovers. Reid is wonderful, subtly revealing a difficult, longtime repressed woman coming out of her shell under the attentive curiosity of the younger man. The director, Roger Michell, treats the sex scenes just so, with frankness, humour and compassion. It's only in the wider social realm that this affair assumes the status of taboo. May's grown children busily set about fixing her up with a likely partner never imagining the object of her real heart's desire lies so close to home. Very handsomely shot, the film exists in an altogether different zone to Michell's Notting Hill - this is a London natives may actually recognise. It's a shame, though, that the melodramatic showdown at the end of the movie smacks of nothing more than bad faith. 
Tom Charity


Here (and above) is the trailer. 

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