Mo (2010 TV Movie)
User ReviewsReview this title
And so, last night we got Mo which saw someone everyone loved played by someone everyone loves, Julie Walters.
We loved Mo for her seemingly unflinching honesty and humanity... we love Julie because she's an extraordinarily talented actress who has an astonishing ability to enable us to make a character nakedly open in their emotion. As such, this was a perfect fit.
One thing that really unites the two is impertinence.
So, with that, what did this wonderful show tell us about Mo? In short, Mowlam was brilliant and brave through illness and Peter Mandelson and David Trimble are monumental idiots. The rest of the people surrounding her (professionally speaking) weren't much better either, with Tony Blair coming off as some weak-spined careerist who gleefully destroyed her career.
As such, I imagine a lot of critics will be using the word 'hagiographic' today. The dictionary will tell you that it means a 'biography of a saint', or 'a worshipful or idealizing biography.' Essentially, what we got with this show was a powerful drama, expertly paced with moments of joy so big that it made your eyes go all watery. With that were crashing lows and moments of real darkness, especially when concerning the corridors of power and the aching sorrow of Mowlam's brain tumour.
Walter's was, predictably, a real tour-de-force in the role, as was the supporting cast. As a whole, the programme whistled by without ever feeling like it was dragging, despite the fact that it was long (well, long in TV terms at least).
Fact is, this was a great celebration of a fine woman. Heaping praise on Mo Mowlam is a good thing. In the snake-pit that is British politics, summed in the likes of David Cameron, Peter Mandelson and the like, it's great to have a reminder that not everyone who has ever worked in the House of Commons is a complete tool. Mo was a warm and stirring piece of television that made me glad to have a TV licence.
A brilliant piece of work from all concerned.
This is however, a BAFTA worthy performance from Julie Walters. My congratulations to everyone behind this Channel Four production.