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The Mother (2003)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  14 November 2003 (UK)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 3,265 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 53 user | 70 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

A grandmother has a passionate affair with a man half her age, who is also sleeping with her daughter.

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Title: The Mother (2003)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
May
...
Toots
...
Helen
...
Darren
...
Au Pair
Harry Michell ...
Harry
Rosie Michell ...
Rosie
Izabella Telezynska ...
Polish Cleaner
...
Bobby
...
Paula
Carlo Kureishi ...
Jack
Sachin Kureishi ...
Jack
Simon Mason ...
Man in Tate Gallery
...
Bruce
Jonah Coombes ...
Estate Agent
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Storyline

Toots and May's marriage is one of Toots being dependent on his wife. Shortly after Toots and May arrive in London to visit with their grown children Bobby and Paula and their respective children, Toots falls ill and dies. Toots' death brings to the surface the underlying strain that has always existed between May and both of her two children, and the unhappy lives they have all led. Now specifically with Paula, May is disapproving of her relationship with a construction worker named Darren. Not only does May think his occupation makes him beneath Paula, he's also a married man. Darren is in an unsatisfying marriage but doesn't want to leave it if only because of his son. Even after May gets to know and like Darren, she still encourages Paula to break up with him. The issue is is that May herself has fallen in love with Darren, the two who begin a sexual relationship. What will ultimately happen between May and Darren also depends on Darren, who is floundering in his own life and ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It can take a lifetime to feel alive.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content including graphic images of sexuality, language and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 November 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Mãe  »

Box Office

Budget:

£1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$79,560 (USA) (28 May 2004)

Gross:

$1,062,253 (USA) (5 November 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The son's house in the film is shown to be situated in the Notting Hill section of London, but the interiors and backdrop were all shot at a house in Chiswick. In scenes where the fancy Notting Hill row houses can be seen through the front door, the houses have been put in using CGI. See more »

Goofs

When Darren and Toots are discussing cricket, the reflections of crew equipment and the camera dolly mount are visible in the glass of the sunroom windows. See more »

Quotes

Bobby: [on finding his mother's pornographic drawings] I feel as if I've just had a very hot curry!
See more »

Connections

Features Good Neighbors (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

"Bodyshock
Composed by Adam Laschinger
© Mother Productions Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

A very contemporary British "kitchen sink drama"
28 June 2004 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

"The Mother" is a raw unpeeling of relationships between older parents and adult children in a very contemporary take on the British "kitchen sink drama".

Every character is baldly selfish to the point of startling brutality. Each one responds to attempted openings of lines of communication with "But what about me?"

The naturalism is palpably realistic, such that when Hanif Kureish's script crosses a line to go a bit over the top it's upsetting and jarring.

Director Roger Michell is particularly good at capturing the domestic mise en scene of sounds -- from simultaneous conversations to children's chatter -- and sights, such as lingering over meaningful visuals from a pair of old slippers to a casually bare torso.

Anne Reid gives the gutsiest older woman performance since Kathy Bates in "About Schmidt" and Helen Mirren in "Calendar Girls," but those were mostly played for laughs and didn't reveal the painful de-layering of inhibitions. Her character's continued low self-esteem to the point of accepting abuse is difficult to watch.

Except for a very atypical appearance in the first "Lara Croft," Daniel Craig has avoided depending on his magnetic hunkiness on screen. Here, as in "Sylvia," his manliness is a protean catalyst for the plot. In a complex triangle of relationships, his carpenter obliges the other characters' obsessions to project their fantasies and needs on to him.

While the grandmother finds some independence and self-respect, I'm not optimistic about the grandchildren in this dysfunctional family.


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