6.9/10
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54 user 69 critic

The Mother (2003)

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2:09 | Trailer

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

Director:

Roger Michell

Writer:

Hanif Kureishi
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anne Reid ... May
Peter Vaughan ... Toots
Anna Wilson-Jones ... Helen
Daniel Craig ... Darren
Danira Govich ... Au Pair
Harry Michell Harry Michell ... Harry
Rosie Michell Rosie Michell ... Rosie
Izabella Telezynska Izabella Telezynska ... Polish Cleaner
Steven Mackintosh ... Bobby
Cathryn Bradshaw ... Paula
Carlo Kureishi Carlo Kureishi ... Jack
Sachin Kureishi Sachin Kureishi ... Jack
Simon Mason Simon Mason ... Man in Tate Gallery
Oliver Ford Davies ... Bruce
Jonah Coombes 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 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 doesn't... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 June 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Mãe See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£59,077 (United Kingdom), 16 November 2003, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$79,560, 30 May 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,062,253, 7 November 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

May mentions that her daughter's flat is located on Benbow Road. This is the name of the real street in London where the location of the daughter's flat is situated. See more »

Goofs

When May is telling Darren about her affair and just before she asks him to take her to bed, Darren does not have a carpenter's pencil in his ear. When we see him a few moments later, the pencil is over his ear. 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

Referenced in Comedy Connections: Dinnerladies (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Clint Eastwood
Written by Damon Albarn, Jamie Hewlett and Del Tha Funky Homosapien
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd
Courtesy of EMI Records Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

A very contemporary British "kitchen sink drama"
28 June 2004 | by noraleeSee 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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