July Movies (con’t)
Anne Reid and Daniel CraigThe Mother
May (Anne Reid) is an ordinary grandmother from the London suburbs. Dedicated to her husband Toots (Peter Vaughan), she has spent her lifetime cooking, cleaning and caring for him with little thought to her own interests and beliefs. On a visit to their children?s houses in London, Toots passes away, and May finds herself on her own in a strange city with only her children to support her. She is determined not to recede into old age, so moves in with her son rather than returning to her empty house. It is here she meets, and is seduced by Darren (Daniel Craig), the much younger man who happens to be also sleeping with her daughter. May finds herself reawakened to her former interests and some desires she never thought she had.
Filmmaker Roger Michell was also behind such hits as Notting Hill and Changing Lanes. The Mother is vastly different to both these films however. The plot is reasonably simple, however the characters are complex and their stories compelling. All types of relationships are explored, between friends, siblings, lovers, partners, parents and children. What is particularly shocking is the disdain May?s two children have for her. They give her no sympathy after the death of her husband and react with complete selfishness.
If you?re looking for a film with a bit more depth, this is a perfect choice.
It?s pretty fair to say that most sequels are less memorable than the movie it proceeded. Think Grease 2 and Speed 2 Cruise Control and the point is well made. Shrek 2, however, does not disappoint. It could be said that it has more hilarious gags, better character development and more complicated animation than the first. In short, it could even be better (shock horror) than the first! The story begins with the honeymoon of Shrek (Mike Myers) and Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz). Things couldn?t be more perfect for the pair as head back to a life together in the swamp. On their arrival, not only are they faced with the annoying (but lovable) Donkey (Eddie Murphy), but they are invited to a Royal Welcome ball by Fiona?s parents. This delights Fiona, as she feels her parents may finally accept her the way she is, but Shrek is well aware of the prejudice his appearance can cause. With trepidation they head to Far Far Away (which happens to be a hilarious spoof of Hollywood) and the fun begins. You will laugh yourself to tears as Shrek, Donkey and their new friend Puss In Boots (my new hero Antonio Banderas) try to win over Fiona?s parents and their kingdom. You wouldn?t think it in a cartoon, but this film contains so many takeoffs and references, you may need to see the film a few times just to pick up on it all.