Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Mother (2003) - Roger Michell

Hanif Kureishi wrote this drama about a woman whose late-blooming romance causes a serious rift with her family. May (Anne Reid) and Toots (Peter Vaughan) are an elderly couple who travel to London to visit their two grown children, Bobby (Steven Mackintosh) and Paula (Cathryn Bradshaw). While Bobby tries to be attentive to his parents, he's busy with his two young children, a major project at work, and completing some renovations on his large and expensive house, while his wife, Helen (Anna Wilson-Jones), shows little interest in her in-laws. Meanwhile, Paula is unsatisfied with her work and carries on an affair with Darren (Daniel Craig), a builder who is working on Bobby's home. When Toots suddenly dies, May moves in with Paula, but with Paula at work all day, she has little to do. Darren stops by Paula's flat periodically, and soon he strikes up a friendship with May; their conversations soon develop into flirtation, and before long, the two have become lovers, meeting regularly for afternoon trysts in Paula's spare room. While May's relationship with Darren makes her feel happier and more alive than she has in years, it leads to an ugly confrontation when Paula learns about the affair. The Mother was screened as part of the Director's Fortnight series at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.

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