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The Mother Review

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After the death of her husband, grandmother May goes to stay with her children in London. Unwelcome and lonely, she seeks solace in the arms of a man half her age, who just happens to be her daughter's boyfriend and son's best friend.

★★★★★

Notting Hill and Changing Lanes director Roger Michell continues to show his versatility with this hard-hitting story of an older woman's journey of discovery. But it's a tough watch.

Hanif Kureishi has penned a script populated by selfish characters who seem to become more unlikable as the movie progresses. Were it not for strong performances, particularly from Anne Reid and Daniel Craig, this could be filed under 'instantly forgettable'.

For every moment of dramatic resonance, there's one of mind-numbing tedium - how many beautifully- shot travelogues of London are needed to hammer home May's increasing isolation? And while it's laudable to see the sexual awakening of an older woman explored for a change, the fact that May, who does have a certain allure, is seen to be worthy of only the weakest of men, is less so. Add some really jarring plot points and character inconsistencies, and the viewer is left with very little to root for.

Feel-bad rather than feel-good, this too-worthy drama is held together by some powerhouse acting, notably from Reid and Craig.