Run time: 91 mins
Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Spalding team up in Mrs Lowry & Son, depicting the complex relationship between the artist L.S. Lowry and his mother
With remarkable performances from Redgrave and Spalding, the pair add depth to this bopic set almost entirely in one house – making the most of a script perhaps better suited for the stage. The Lancashire artist (Spall) is a timid figure, dominated by his controlling mother Elizabeth (Redgrave). As we are introduced to the characters, a letter arrives from London, with an opportunity at a gallery. Elizabeth sees no value in her son’s artwork, doing her best to dissuade him from this ‘art nonsense’. He longs to give up his job as rent collector, at classes and painting every spare minute, he observes the Salford streets in his creations. Exploring the conflict between being a filial son and pursuing his passion, The film is a deep-dive into the inner workings of Lowry’s biggest obstacle: his mother! Bed-ridden and deeply miserable, Redgrave manages to steer away from making a villain out of her character. As Lowry proclaims, “There’s a beauty in everything.” (research Rachel Williams) Except his paintings and his mother. Genius and/or heartbreakingly lonely optimist.