The Mother (2003)
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  • I think Anne Reid's performance in The Mother excelled Johansson's performace in Lost in Translation
  • One of the best is the wonderful On Golden Pond featuring Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, and Jane Fonda
  • I enjoyed this movie's portrayal of life from the perspective of someone who is no longer a member of the popular generation but is still a living, feeling person

    • by tfedge

      all reviews
      “The Mother” will be a shock to people under the age of thirty who can’t imagine their parents having sex at all much less have casual sex and enjoying it. The 112-minute UK film tells about May, a woman in her late fifties or sixties, and Toots, her husband who arrives at her son Harry’s house. Clearly no one is happy to see them. Their son is too busy with his career. Their daughter-in-law is too busy with her shop that features “anything cashmere” and losing money. The grandchildren, who do not recognize their grandparents and only interrupt their lives for a brief, “did you bring us a present?” Nearby lives Paula, daughter to Toots and May. She openly dislikes them and blames all of her failures on them. When Toots dies during the visit May feels reluctant to return to the house they had shared. Instead she elects to stay with her children. During her visit May meets Darren, a handyman who is doing remodeling for both Harry and Paula. They soon begin an affair. This complicates matters because Paula is already having an affair with Darren and has convinced herself,

      if not him, that they are going to married.

      Anne Reid, as Paula, has appeared on British television since the 1950s when she appeared with Benny Hill. She was a longtime regular on Coronation Street, but is not well-known to American Audiences. Daniel Craig recently appeared on American movies screens in a big way with the remake of “Casino Royal” where he plays the latest incarnation of “Bond. James Bond.” In “The Mother” he appears as a college dropout construction worker who has a continuing affair with both May and Paula. He is feckless, self-absorbed and selfish (look for my Review Stream Review at

      Cathryn Bradshaw plays Paula. Bradshaw is a former member of the Royal Shakespeare company. She portrays the angry, approaching-middle age and unhappy woman well enough that I didn’t like her. Steven Mackintosh, who also played Adolf Eichmann in “The Aryan Couple” ( plays the son, Bobby. Mackintosh has appeared on British television for twenty-five years. His appearances include many of the PBS “Mystery” imports as “Cadfael” “Poirot” and “Inspector Morse.”

      Anne Reid was nominated for a BAFTA as Best Actress but lost out to Scarlett Johansson for ...

      • “Lost in Translation.” I think Anne Reid’s performance in “The Mother” excelled Johansson’s performace in “Lost in Translation.” However Johansson was also nominated for “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” A performance that was superb it should have won so I suppose there is some justice there.

        “The Mother” tells the story of self-centered adult children who have failed to achieve what they want in life and feel they must take it out on their parents. Harry and Paula are members of the “me” generation that is at or approaching forty, with children and an unfulfilled life. They have used May and Toots until there nothing remains. Darren too uses May then abandons her. It makes you wonder if the Baby Boomers should have been raised not with the touchy-feely Dr. Spock that led us to indulge our children and more with the disciplinarian Mr. Spock that would have helped us raise responsible children. People who believe that only the young should have sex lives, or lives at all for that matter, will be surprised to see the nude body of a woman in her late fifties or sixties. Too bad, more people look

        like her than look like the current ing�nue who thinks she invented both beauty and sex.

        There are not many “generation gap” movies told from the perspective of the older generation. One of the best is the wonderful “On Golden Pond” featuring Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, and Jane Fonda.

        From the other perspective, that of the younger generation, there are dozens of movies about the generation gap. “East of Eden” starring James Dean and Raymond Massey in the 1955 classic based on John Steinbeck’s novel about the Salina’s Valley remains among the best more than fifty years after its release.

        I’ve seen several movies about the difficulties in aging recently. Two star Jack Lemmon, “My Tuesday’s with Morrie” is an inspirational movie, touching movie where Lemmon, as Morrie, teaches one last lesson to his former college student, Mitch, played by Hank Azaria. The other movie featuring Lemmon is the 1998 for-television movie “The Long Way” home.

        I enjoyed this movie’s portrayal of life from the perspective of someone who is no longer a member of the popular generation but is still a living, feeling person. I give the movie an A- or 91%.

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