The Mother | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Mother 

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Director Roger Michell, who's scored big with conventional romance (Notting Hill), and writer Hanif Kureishi, whose love stories are anything but (My Beautiful Laundrette), challenge perceptions of beauty and propriety in this British drama about a May-December romance. Anne Reid stars as a 60ish woman from the London suburbs whose husband dies of a heart attack shortly after they arrive in the city to visit their two grown children; decades of aloof parenting have left her kids remote and self-absorbed, but the self-effacing woman finds solace in the company of a young handyman (Daniel Craig). Some dark truths emerge as the mother and her children collide over the affair, but the savagery is interlaced with humor. Although this shares some of the acidity of Thatcher-era films, it owes more to David Lean's Summertime in its generosity toward an aging heroine who learns that any second chance is fraught with risk. 112 min. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Landmark's Century Centre.

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