Movie review

She’s ‘The Mother’

May, the mother in the movie of the same name, is actually an ordinary grandmother from the suburbs. When her husband dies on a family visit to London, she loses her place in her adult children’s busy city lives. She doesn’t want to go back to an empty house but realizes she’s in the way where she is. Her biggest fear is becoming an invisible old lady whose life is more or less over.

“The Mother,” which had its New York premier during the Tribeca Film Festival this month and opened in limited release May 28, is the story of how she finds her own way, with the help of a carpenter half her age.

This movie is worth the price of a ticket just to watch Ann Reid as May. Her performance is funny, brave, shocking and sad. She deservedly has won several awards for her portrayal and was nominated for the 2004 British equivalent of the Academy Award for Best Actress.

“I saw May as a woman who has lived half a life without realizing it,” Reid says about her role. “May settled for something when she was very young … but it wasn’t until her husband dies and she suddenly starts to see herself and find herself that she really begins to realize who she is.”

Although director Roger Michell also did “Notting Hill,” don’t expect a sweet, but rocky, love story. “The Mother” takes those lovable misfits from “Notting Hill,” slaps them around a few times, turns them against each other and then spits them out in a dysfunctional heap.

Writer Hanif Kureishi says the film is about older people and real lives. “The cinema has to be, to a certain extent, a place where you can talk and think about serious things.”

– Carolyn Rummel