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31 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

What would I have done?

10/10
Author: hillrosemary from Switzerland
8 September 2012

I'm afraid I couldn't disagree more with the previous reviewer. I found 'A Mother's Son' to be very compelling viewing. I thought Chris Lang's script was wonderful - natural-sounding dialogue, and for one hour fifty minutes of the two hours I was unsure who had actually committed the crime, so deftly did he hint at the possible guilt of first one, and then of another character.

The casting was just as good. Martin Clunes revealed acting skills I hadn't previously seen him display as Rosie's second husband, and his character, Ben, was a wonderful contrast to David, her first, superbly played by Paul McGann.

The drama focuses on the suspicions of the mother (Rosie) that her son from her first marriage may have been involved in the murder of a local schoolgirl, and her dilemma as to how best to deal with those suspicions. Hermione Norris, who plays Rosie, has a real talent for portraying women on the edge, and she uses it to its fullest extent here. Only once does Rosie completely lose her composure; the rest of the time her torment is repressed and, with increasing difficulty, held in silent check. Ms Norris, however, can do more with silence and a slight change of expression than others can do with many pages of script, and I sometimes found Rosie's anguish almost too painful to watch.

Alexander Arnold, who plays her son Jamie, is equally good, moving seamlessly from sullenness to anger and then fear, and all the time seeming to me to give a very accurate portrayal of a wayward teenager.

Yes, it isn't an all-action drama, yes, the build-up of tension is slow, but it's steady, relentless, and, I thought, very effective. Perhaps it's the kind of thoughtful, thought-PROVOKING drama that isn't likely to be wildly popular with a mass audience, but it certainly left an impression on me. Two days after watching it I was still wondering 'What would I have done?'

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Excellent viewing

Author: trapp_p from Australia
18 April 2014

I have just finished watching 'A Mother's Son' on the ABC in Australia. It was shown as a single 2 hour story and I think that helped maintain the tension. I am at a loss to work out what program one of my fellow reviewers was watching, perhaps the fact that he remembers 'Billy Cotton's Bandstand' is an indication of his age (we are talking 1950's here), but the plot was certainly not 'East Enders' and 'over the top'. The other review pretty well sums up the movie, it was tightly written and extremely well acted. It is typical of the current crop of UK drama, good casts, good scripts and a big dose of conflicting emotions. In many ways it was similar to another excellent production "Broadbeach", although that was a much longer drama and more complicated plot-wise. Room for a lot of extra red herrings. I agree that the tension was well maintained, I could understand the mixed emotions which Rosie felt, although I was pretty sure by half way through that she was backing the wrong horse; her son was the culprit, or at least an accomplice.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Excellent from Top to Bottom!

9/10
Author: Domenico Scarlatti from Australia
18 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My wife and I were spellbound. This has engaging characters; a subtle plot and excellent performances.

The reason that the plot is so mesmerising is that it is so feasible. It is totally believable that a young boy could panic and do something, which he then sees is stupid. It is totally believable that the family and step family will act as they did. The intra-family tensions have an inevitability,which mirrors real life.

As the two sides of the family start to fragment under the pressure of suspicion the feeling is that, like a Greek tragedy, they may not want to do so but nothing can stop it happening.

There is excellent directing and first rate performances both from the lead actors and the young actors who play the family.

I saw it as a single piece, rather than the original two. It is better viewed as a single whole! We would absolutely recommend this!

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2 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Awful rubbishy attempt at psychodrama

1/10
Author: badajoz-1 from United Kingdom
7 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was hyped up as gripping - NO IT WAS RUBBISH! The plot was thin, the characters uninteresting and straight out of the East Enders over-emotional teleland, the writing way way over the top, the direction just plagiarised 'The Killing,' and the sheer boredom of it all sent you to bed screaming at today's audiences and so-called TV critics that are prepared to put up with such awful cr**. There might not have been a golden age of TV forty years ago, but this rubbish would not be able to stand comparison with 'Billy Cotton's Bandshow'! Lazy, repetitive, shallow, police episodes absolute crud, I cannot go on. But I will poke a last dig - How many times in Episode 1 did the script include the line 'Are you alright?' - ten, fifty, a hundred?

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