Mrs Lowry & Son

Mrs Lowry & Son

Adrian Noble (2018)

91min
PG Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Five years after Timothy Spall starred in the lavish, big-budget, multiple-Oscar-nominated Mr Turner, a biopic of eccentric English painter JMW Turner, he has another crack at a revered but troubled dauber who went by his initials, LS Lowry. Unlike Mike Leigh's expansive period romp, though, Mrs Lowry & Son sees former RSC director Adrian Noble taking a more intimate approach. It reveals the eternally attentive perma-bachelor Lowry - rent-collector by day, attic artist by night - suffocating socially while he tends to his bed-bound mother (Vanessa Redgrave), who, in a one-note performance, cruelly belittles his art. Diligently adapted by Martyn Hesford from his own play for radio and the West End, this unavoidably claustrophobic story struggles to transfer cinematically. It is a film that, despite being about a prospective genius only belatedly appreciated for capturing the industrial landscapes of Lancashire, Mrs Lowry & Son, has little to no exterior life. Scenes of Spall playing What's the Time, Mr Wolf? on a cobbled incline with the local urchins are all-too rare, the action always scurrying back inside for a nice cup of tea. Spall brings muffled humanity to Lowry but, thus housebound, he remains a sketch rather than a portrait.

Cast & Crew

Elizabeth Lowry Vanessa Redgrave
LS Lowry Timothy Spall
Mrs Stanhope Wendy Morgan
Mr Stanhope Stephen Lord
Mr Lowry Michael Keogh
Director Adrian Noble
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: VertigoReleased on: 30 Aug 2019