6.9/10
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The Mother (2003)

R | | Drama, Romance | 18 June 2004 (USA)
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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 Govic ... Au Pair (as Danira Govich)
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

Paula's son Jack is played by twins Carlo Kureishi and Sachin Kureishi. Their father is Screenwriter Hanif Kureishi. They look and act so much alike, that Nicolas Gaster had trouble telling them apart in the editing room. 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

May: Oh, Darren. This cigarette's making my chest all congested. I can't breathe.
Darren: What would happen if you did breathe?
May: I'd say, would you... would it be too much trouble... spare rooms... would you come to the spare rooms with me... would you...
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Mother: Cast & Crew Interviews (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Space Oddity
Composed by David Bowie
© Onward Music Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shockingly Intelligent
30 January 2005 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

A fierce, shockingly intelligent piece of work from the gifted British writer Hanif Kureishi who wrote "My Beautiful Laundrette", (this is the best thing he's done since then). It's about intelligent people whose lives don't add up to much. They've squandered what they have been given and are largely empty vessels. The only character on screen who is alive is the mother of the title yet she feels dead inside until a rough handyman shows her some affection and awakens her to the joys of sex. He has his own motives but Kureishi treats him with a good deal of compassion. This is a film in which people and places feel familiar, where characters exist beyond the confines of the screen. In some respects it's a bit like "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" but it's an altogether tougher piece of work. The director, Roger Michell, allows scenes to build instinctively. And it is beautifully acted.

As the eponymous mother Anne Reid betrays her wasted life in every gesture. There is not a false note in her extraordinarily lived-in performance, and that very fine actor Daniel Craig displays shadings to his character than even Kureishi hasn't tapped into. If the film strikes a false note it is, perhaps, in the character of the talentless daughter, caught up in a messy affair with the man her mother seduces (or should that be the other way round) and even messier life, but she is so well played by Cathryn Bradshaw she hooks you in nevertheless. The film is also extremely beautiful to look at (DoP Alwin Kuchler) and must rank, unhesitatingly, as the best British film of the year.


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