The Mother (2003) from Tuna

The Mother is a chick flick, granny division, financed by BBC. It was shot mainly in one location on 16 mm, but looks very good for the limited budget. I suppose the film is a condemnation of boring suburban life, and the story of a mother and daughter.


The nudity is from 69 year old Ann Reid, who shows breasts in a post coital scene

Ann Reid and her husband travel to the home of their two children in London for the Christmas holidays. It is clear that they do not have a particularly exciting life. The house is suburbia on steroids. Their daughter is a divorcee, and having it off with a handyman (Daniel Craig). Their son is a workaholic. When Reid's husband dies, Reid is lost, and doesn't want to go home, but she is a burden on her children. The real conflict is set up when Reid starts an intimate relationship with her daughter's handyman.  It was rather brave of the 69 year old Reid to film very hot and rather explicit sex scenes and bare her breasts. The sex scenes did have the ring of honesty, and were far from gratuitous.

Roger Ebert praised the depth to which the main characters are developed in this film. It is decidedly character-driven, and the characters are interesting, but I can't say I was glued to the screen because the pace was deliberate, and it was a little talky. On the other hand, I didn't hit fast forward, and cared about the outcome. They hit all the marks they intended, and the film has many excellent performances.

The Critics Vote ...

  • It was nominated for a BAFTA - Anne Reid: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

  • British consensus: about two and a half stars. Telegraph 7/10, Independent 6/10, Guardian 4/10, Times 8/10, BBC 4/5

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 7.0/10. (Men 6.9, Women 8.0)
  • Although it was generally ignored by moviegoers in the UK, it found a small niche on the arthouse circuit in America, where it grossed a million dollars in an extended run.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C+ as a character-driven drama targeted at mature women.

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