The Mother (2004) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Mother2004

The Mother (2004)



Critic Consensus: Reid gives a fearless, realistic performance in depicting an older woman's sexual blossoming.

The Mother Photos

Movie Info

May is an ordinary grandmother from the North of England. When her husband dies on a family visit to London, she recedes into the background of her busy, metropolitan children's lives. Stuck in an unfamiliar city, far from home, May fears that she has become another invisible old lady whose life is more or less over. Until, that is, she embarks on a passionate affair with Darren, a man half her age who is renovating her son's house and sleeping with her daughter.


Izabella Telezynska
as Polish Cleaner
Simon Mason
as Man In Tate Gallery
Jonah Coombs
as Estate Agent
Jonah Coombes
as Estate Agent
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Critic Reviews for The Mother

All Critics (91) | Top Critics (40)

Quite apart from her unclad courage in the sex scenes, 62-year-old Anne Reid conveys the dilemmas of her age and her hesitant path to liberation with extraordinary and moving subtlety.

January 10, 2018 | Full Review…

A troubling film about the need to be wanted.

August 26, 2004 | Rating: B

There is in The Mother a rich understanding of where old age takes you. Along with the myth that seniors don't have sex drives, the film dispels a larger one: that the years bring wisdom.

August 7, 2004

It challenges you to figure out how you feel about the people on the screen -- emotionally, intellectually, morally.

July 23, 2004 | Rating: 5/5

The Mother never fails to engage.

July 9, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

It sounds like the stuff of soap operas or bad porn, but Kureishi's script is too intelligent and empathetic to titillate.

July 9, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Mother


I'm happy if I never have to see this again. It's not the older woman/younger man set up, it's not the elderly nudity. No, what bothers me is that a mother could do that to her own daughter. Not to mention how Darren treated the poor old woman. I could feel her pain and fear of becoming yet another "invisible old lady whose life is more or less over", but the way she went about fixing it just wasn't right.

vieras esine
vieras esine

Super Reviewer

a controversial film that is more than the sum of its theme. I often felt like I was outside of this film, looking in; and I believe that sense of alienation was by design. It does an expert view of showing a woman, May, who had never really questioned her wifely duties (although, apparently didn't do that great a job of raising her daughter, who claimed she was never given the love and support she needed). When May and her husband arrive in London to visit their children, it seems like the world is going on around them and they can only watch. When the husband dies, May refuses to live in the family home, so comes to London to live with her children. She begins to feel the freedom and the breathtaking concept that she can now do what she wants, when she wants - and ends up taking a lover with none other than James Bond (Daniel Craig), who is a carpenter working on her son's flat. The sex scenes come across very real and poignant, especially May's confession that she felt that she might never be touched again. The tension comes from the fact that Craig is May's daughter's lover. The daughter is a needful thing, always turning the conversation towards herself (even while saying to May, "enough about you, what about me" - yikes!) - and their struggle over Craig fills the remainder of the film (all done in subterfuge and typical Brittish upper lip). When all the plot devices collide and May is forced (though it appears to be her choice) to return to the family digs - she walks through her son's house, much as she entered it - with their lives going on around and without her. Undeterred, she is home just long enough to pack her bags so she can take a cruise; thus getting on with her life and continuing to "become", rather than waiting to die.

paul sandberg
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

Soap-style British chick-flick that's pleasant enough background viewing until the graphic Daniel Craig on grandmother sex scene...

Ross Collins
Ross Collins

Super Reviewer

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