Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Mother

A very difficult story told in the most civilized (and very British) way about a grandmother (Anne Reid) than when her husband dies she refuses to go back to their North England home and stays in London with her very metropolitan son and daughter. They haven’t been close for many years and they feel like strangers grieving for the dead of a husband and father. As she alternates her staying in his son and daughter house, she meets Darren (Daniel Craig) that is doing some building at her son’s house, is married and is the lover of her daughter. In a very direct forward way May and Darren get attracted and fall for each other. Everything complicates even more when this happens.

Stunning performance by Anne Reid and I liked Daniel Craig performance, with good directing by Roger Michell in a strong British drama that will make you think about old age, have lived an expected but unhappy life, distance from family members and possibilities even when you think you’re life is over.

This is a slow paced drama with some long shots and very good framing that increase the dramatic moment, but the film is powerful, subtle and harsh at the same time, and for some will be quietly terrifying; but as soon as you start watching you will quickly engage in the slow events development.

Hardly ever in cinema the subject matter of a 60’s woman sexuality is touched and even when this screenplay by Hanif Kureishi presents it in a complex way, it is outstanding to be able to see an extremely good drama and movie showing us something that most of us have a hard time to acknowledge and less to accept, that parents and over 60’s people are totally alive human beings and in a way is unfair that society requests their lives to be over and retire to a corner to allow new generations to step ahead.

I totally relate this movie to fantastic Venus with Peter O’Toole that touches a similar situation from the male perspective, but here is more outstanding to me as does it from the female perspective and with the touchiest subject matter: a mother.

Anne Reid was nominated for the Best Actress award in the 2004 BAFTA, BIFA, European Film Awards and won the ALFS Award for British Actress of the Year in the 2004 London Critics Circle Film Awards. The movie, the director, the writer and Daniel Craig have other nominations in European and Eastern awards and festivals.

I do recommend this movie to those that love very good dramas in impeccable films, but be prepared to think a lot during and after you see it, as the movies tells situations and brilliantly gives no answers. It will be up to you to find your own answers.


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