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With: Anne Reid, Daniel Craig, Cathryn Bradshaw, Peter Vaughan, Anna Wilson-Jones, Steven Mackintosh
Written by: Hanif Kureishi
Directed by: Roger Michell
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content including graphic images of sexuality, language and brief drug use
Running Time: 112
Date: 05/16/2003

The Mother (2004)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Kingdom Mum

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

An aged couple visits their grown kids in London only to find that no one has any time for them. The father suddenly drops dead, leaving May (Anne Reid) on her own. She begins exploring a new life for herself, going so far as to have an affair with her daughter's married lover, Darren (Daniel Craig) a carpenter working on her son's house. But her newfound freedom only leads to another kind of servitude. Written by Hanif Kureishi (My Beautiful Laundrette, My Son the Fanatic) and directed by Roger Michell (Persuasion, Notting Hill), the film does a remarkable job of fleshing out a middle-aged woman as its main character, something that few movies ever manage to do. Michell explores fascinating visual ideas, plunking May down in front of airy, sunny backdrops -- especially the open room that Darren is in the process of building -- and even a beautiful scene at an art gallery among giant, erotic sculptures. The film even does the unthinkable by giving her a sex life and allowing her to fantasize about men. Unfortunately, in achieving this, it neglects the younger, male characters in the film. Darren is nothing more than a bundle of clich�s and it's difficult to understand how the two could end up together. Still, most movies get by with the opposite double-standard, so The Mother gets a pass.

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