Mo (TV Movie 2010) Poster

(2010 TV Movie)

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Entertaining, tragic and incredibly poignant, amazing biographical drama with a mesmerising lead performance
TheLittleSongbird4 February 2010
Mo Mowlam was a truly amazing and inspirational woman, even during her illness she managed to be her funny, quick-witted and inspiring self. This biographical drama from start to finish was sublime, entertaining in some spots but incredibly poignant mostly. The camera work is stunning, the direction from Phillip Martin is excellent and the scripting is honest and packs a real emotional punch. But I thought it was the acting that really drove this drama. While Gary Lewis, Steven MacKintosh, Emma Cambridge and Adrian Dunbar all turn in great work, the acting honours without a doubt come from Julie Walters as Mo. I love Walters, I have always considered her an amazing actress, and she was above mesmerising here, a truly moving and insightful performance. Also the ending had me in tears, I have rarely been emotionally wrecked by a drama on television. Overall, this was wonderful, if you haven't seen it already have a box of tissues at the ready. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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Moving and entertaining.Well worth watching.
adamm20091 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I really enjoyed this.The acting was very good.Julie Walters is on top form and gives a mesmerising performance.Garry Lewis, who also starred in Billy Elliot with Walters, gives a solid performance as her close colleague and friend MP Adam Ingram. A glorious mixture of politics, love, tragedy, history and humour.I laughed and I cried.I found some of the characters really amusing especially Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness.I suppose because they had small parts in the drama, it was almost bizarre how they looked and acted. Was this how it was I asked myself with a large grin on my face.I loved the way Mo spoke to Tony Blair on the phone, calling him babe.And the phone conversation with Bill Clinton is another surreal moment.A lot of the characters only pop up for a short amount of time, so a good knowledge of recent British Political history is almost essential to truly appreciate and enjoy this drama.One of the main themes throughout the film is whether or not it was her tumour that made her the character she was or in fact it was her natural character and personality.She was heavily criticised for hiding the fact that her tumour was malignant and whether or not her subsequent tenure of office was inappropriate and unlawful.Either way, I am glad I watched this and it reminds me what a popular and inspirational person Mo was.May she rest in peace.
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An amazing actress plays an amazing woman
Marz_Barz1 February 2010
I've always thought Julie Walters was amazing and loved Mo Mowlam, so the channel 4 drama 'Mo' really was the perfect combination. it was sad, tragic, happy, funny and showed that Mo was a very funny and quick witted lady, even during her illness Julie Walters Performance was spot on and shows why she one of the best loved actresses in Britain, this can't have been an easy role to get right, playing a real person must be hard enough, but playing a much loved woman who changed so many things and went through so much must have made it ten times harder, but she pulled it of, the whole cast was amazing but Julie truly was the star of the show, in the two hours, i cried, i laughed, and a learnt a lot more about the truly amazing woman Mo was, everyone involved should be so proud and I'm sure Mo Mowlam would of been too, if TV dramas in 2010 are as good and moving as this, we are in for a great year of TV
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A BAFAT winning performance from Julie Walters
ian-13641 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Mo Mowlam was a rare and valuable commodity, a politician that seemed to be liked by every one. Somehow, she managed to be both a politician and a human-being. She made huge progress in Northern Ireland and for that, it was only a matter of time before someone made a show about her.

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.
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Julie is So Good
beresfordjd13 February 2010
Is there nothing Julie Walters cannot do? Everything she does is wonderful (with one exception-Mamma Mia-I do not know what she was like in that- I could not bear to watch enough to see her performance!) But in "Mo" she turns in a career-defining turn. Mo Mowlam herself would probably have loved to see what she did with it. Heartbreakingly sad, funny and profane all at once she carries the whole thing with aplomb. Surrounded by great support and a good screenplay, Julie holds the audience in thrall with her acting chops. I would love to think Mo Mowlam really was like this and she spoke as plainly to the Sinn Fein element and the Unionists. It certainly made for entertaining television drama. An incredible production with an incredible actress at it's centre, Mo is entertaining, educational and life-affirming, in spite of the inevitable end.
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Very Good, but...
Rabster223 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Unlike previous reviewers I am not an acolyte of Julie Walters, though I did always admire "Mo" Mowlam. This film seems to go to great lengths to make Ms. Walters look, and for the most part sound like Mo but doesn't seem to bother with other characters such as Adams, Mandelson etc. The problem with that is it makes one wonder how much of the story is equally consistent? All the good stuff leading to the Good Friday Agreement is portrayed as Marjorie "Mo" Mowlam initiatives (with no help from Civil Service flunkies) and the bitter aftertaste is down to jealous colleagues. I have no doubt that Mo did a very good job, but is she really ready for sainthood? My rating of 7/10 is probably a bit mean but I cannot help but feel manipulated by filmmakers with an agenda but with no access to the facts. Mo should be admired, not worshipped.
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Tour de Force for Julie Walters, but great support
cbak20052 February 2010
Julie Walters is magnificent in the role of a politician who was adored by the public (a very rare quality), but also an icebreaker in the Northern Ireland Peace Process. In inhabiting the role, Julie Walters displays scatological behaviour, and utters language that would embarrass a docker! However, there is also a very strong support cast. Toby Jones as the doctor, David Haig as Mo Mowlam's misguided husband, and mostly the marvellous Steven Macintosh playing a beautifully slimy Peter Mandelson.

This is however, a BAFTA worthy performance from Julie Walters. My congratulations to everyone behind this Channel Four production.
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A Brilliant Autobiography Drama of Mo Mowlems life in Government!
tadjadbl2 February 2010
Great T.V. As the other reviewers have noted I totally agree in all accounts. Completely moving. If this doesn't win a BAFTA ill eat my words! Julie Waters put on an excellent performance for what i can say 'An angel of modern politics.' Mo Mowlems put everything in to her political life as did Julie Walters in this drama. Guaranteed to make you laugh, cry and angry how she was treated by the male chauvinism of Blair and Mandleson. Julie had Mo to a tea with the work she did for the people of Northen Ireland. It was painful to watch her decline on screen as it was in real life. Adam Ingram her aide for the secretary for state was in tears as he had to relive the last days. All credit to the other actors and writers of this drama. And I'm sure there will have to be a statue of her honour in Northen Ireland and Westminster too. A true modern stateswoman.
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"If you want a friend in politics get a f*cking dog"
ianlouisiana1 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Betrayed by a duplicitous Prime Minister,shafted by the appalling Peter Mandelson,Dr Mowlam finally saw the truth of this maxim,as,stricken with a brain tumour,she sees Politicians for the pack of unscrupulous,self - serving, power - mad individuals they really are. Having worked herself to exhaustion fronting the bully - boy Unionists and the cold hatred of Adams and McGuinness,the Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble of Irish Republicanism,she was the catalyst for the Good Friday Agreement.All concerned have admitted it couldn't have happened without her. Her reward was to be replaced by Blair's crony,a man whose ambition and ego knows no limit. As portrayed by Miss Julie Walters,Mowlam was an intelligent,perceptive,earthy woman not above using her gender to discomfit opponents in her male dominated arena.It says much for her single - mindedness that she concentrated on doing her job to the extent that she failed to watch her back or to believe that "Tony" would stick a knife unerringly between her shoulder blades. Miss Walters is never better than when,having publicly handed over to Mandelson,Dr Mowlam sinks behind a pillar and lets go her long pent - up hatred and contempt in a bravura display of four letter words. Mr David Haigh is excellent as her supportive husband who endures her long absences in the cause of a Government he believes to be unworthy of her. She died aged 55,unforgiving,but aware that her contribution to the Good Friday Agreement was immense,her successor's irrelevant. "Mo",produced for ITV, does not shrink from it's subject's idiosyncrasies,her fondness for drink nor her frustration at her decreasing powers as her disease progresses. She is devastated to learn that many of her best - known attributes,i.e. her bullishness,frankness and lack of inhibition may in fact have been caused by her brain tumour in its earlier stages,rather than having been part of her natural development. It assumes that its viewers will have a working knowledge of British politics in the mid 1990s and be aware of the intricacies of the Irish Independence issue. Shot mainly on location,it is a world away from TV's usual comfortable Sunday night viewing. Miss Julie Walters in the title role is both "Mo"'s blessing and it's curse.It's certainly a tour de force of high - powered acting - make no mistake - but we are still aware that,underneath it all,it's still Julie Walters,one of the best - known faces on British TV,who,sadly,can never escape from her previous history. Having said that it's possible that without her,"Mo" would never have been made,so perhaps the slight air of deja vu her performance generates is a small price to pay.
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