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The Mother

3.9 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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(Oct 12, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Anne Reid stars as May, an ordinary grandmother from the North of England. When her husband dies on a family visit to London, she recedes into the background of her busy, metropolitan children's lives. Stuck in an unfamiliar city, far from home, May fears that she has become another invisible old lady whose life is more or less over. Until, that is, she embarks on a passionate affair with Darren (Daniel Craig), a man half her age who is renovating her son's house and sleeping with her daughter. Directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Changing Lanes). Written by Academy Award® nominated writer Hanif Kureishi (Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for My Beautiful Launderette).

The movies have their share of gray-haired men romancing young women, but the spectacle of a sexual relationship between an old woman and a young man is still exotic enough for The Mother to startle audiences. Newly widowed Anne Reid, sixtyish, finds herself disenchanted with her indifferent children, and drawn to a studly handyman (Daniel Craig, from Sylvia). The observant directorial hand of Roger Michell guides them through some brutally frank sex scenes, without ignoring the psychological mess that underlies it all. It comes as no surprise that this scenario springs from the mind of Hanif Kureishi, who's been poking at British propriety since My Beautiful Laundrette. The film offers no characters to actually like, which makes it a bitter course to navigate. But Anne Reid's gutsy performance, which carries zero trace of glamour, is certainly a bold venture that asks no pity. --Robert Horton

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Daniel Craig, Anna Wilson-Jones, Anne Reid, Peter Vaughan, Danira Govich
  • Directors: Roger Michell
  • Writers: Hanif Kureishi
  • Producers: Angus Finney, David M. Thompson, Kevin Loader, Rosa Romero, Stephen Evans
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: October 12, 2004
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002TSZHO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,869 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Mother" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on October 12, 2006
Format: DVD
I noticed recently that this title has gone out of print (as of 10/12/06), so I felt compelled to say a few words about what I feel is a very special film. I want to encourage anyone who has not seen it to grab a copy NOW while you still can, and I hope that a great designer label (perhaps Criterion) will pick it up and showcase it to a greater audience.

"The Mother" is a very adult tale and that's part of what makes it so special. Aside from the somewhat graphic, intergenerational sex scenes which are noteworthy enough--"The Mother" offers up one of the most complex and uncompromising character studies ever put on film. Anne Reid is flawless as the mother in question. Widowed, sixty-something and completely dissatisfied with life in general, she enters into an illicit affair with the friend of her son. She feels her life is empty, useless--and the affair is her one way to feel again, feel anything. Is it passion, love, degradation? In truth, it's a combination of all three and her only tangible way to grasp at the life she has become so disconnected with. The film never asks you to sympathize with her, it's a "warts and all" approach. Far from being a heroine, you will be left questioning her motivations, her incapacity to love, her familial loyalty. It's a brave, bold, and stunning portrait.

Every time you think you know where the story is headed, your expectations are thwarted. Like real life, things don't necessarily follow an inevitable logic nor do they resolve themselves tidily. Daniel Craig does solid work, as usual. But it's Reid's show. In a fierce performance, she lays body and soul naked--a performance that surely would have garnered an Oscar nomination if the film had a higher U.S. profile.
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Format: DVD
THE MOTHER is an extraordinary film that addresses many issues plaguing our society today: the problem of aging, death, the disintegration of the core family unit, the need for love transferred unsuccessfully onto casual sex, and loneliness at the end of the day.

May (Anne Reid of 'Love and Death on Long Island', 'The Dresser', 'Liam' in a stunningly underplayed performance) and her husband Toots (Peter Vaughn) have traveled from Northern England to visit their children and grandchildren in London. Son Bobby (Steven Mackintosh) is married to his work and to a cold wife Helen (Anna Wilson-Jones) who is self-absorbed and not at all ready for the intrusion of an 'old couple' in her home currently under remodeling by a friend of Booby's, a carpenter Darren (Daniel Craig) who just happens to be the lover of May's and Toot's other divorced and perennially frustrated daughter Paula (Cathryn Bradshaw).

Toots dies rather abruptly, leaving May lost in a world she views as strange and unfriendly, so trapped in her marriage of many years to a man who never acknowledged her worth as a person. Unable to return to her home, May is offered a place to stay with Bobby and spends time looking after Paula's single-parented child. Through a gradual a very delicate mutual need, May becomes infatuated with Darren who is half her age and because of Darren's mutual neediness, the two have a sexual as well as a spiritual bonding. The bizarre circumstances of mother and daughter bedding the same man are discovered and the manner in which this fragmented family unit copes provides an ending that will surprise few, but will touch the hearts of all.
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Format: DVD
With the death of her infirmed husband, May, an older woman faces a future in an urban world that views her as invisible, dead from the neck down, and unwelcome in the pseudo- sophisticated yuppie homes of her son, Bobby and his shallow wife, Helen, and Paula, a self- absorbed, clinging, and minimally talented daughter. The central family is anything but warm, supportive, and understanding of her new and tragic stage in life with the death of her husband. The Mother is a quiet character study that points up how in some societies, the elder parent is both unwelcome and a burden to grown children whose careers and status seeking overshadow all else.

As May comes to realize the world is still important to her, the lonely widow finds her libido reawakened and alive with her daughter's boyfriend, a carpenter and rough sort. May embarks on an uninhibited sexual affair with Darren whose character is sympathetic to her at first, but his flawed nature is quickly revealed through the pressures of the women who surround him.

This is the kind of role Hollywood actresses of a certain age whine is never written for them, but they would never appear because of the frank and overt sexuality, unglamorous wardrobe, little makeup, and social commentary on the vapidness of the society most film industry women are involved. The performance by the lead actress, Anne Reid ranges from quiet to giddy and her interpretation blossoms on screen from the drab widow to a sexually alive and freed middle age woman without face-lift, hair extensions, and liposuction. She bares more than her soul for the screen.

Daniel Craig is the enabling handyman, Derrek who beds both mother and daughter.
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