Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Mother: A Film Review

I recently saw an intriguing DVD that I happen to stumbble upon at the main library here in Portland, and I thought it would be worth sharing in a blog posting. The review was written by Steven Holden of The new New Times and it goes like this:

Anne Reid's character, May, is a recently widowed grandmother who pursues an affair with her daughter's hunky, unhappily married boyfriend (Mr. Craig). The sight of a dilapidated woman besotted with a careless young god in his 30's may be uncomfortably taboo busting. But the extraordinarily clear-sighted and psychologically balanced British drama stares as calmly at May's perilous leap into churning emotional rapids as a medical show does when keeping its gaze fixed on a tricky surgical procedure. The bravery of Ms. Reid's screen performance can be measured by her utter lack of self-consciousness when naked before the camera. When desire trumps May's maternal feelings, and she knowingly (and guiltily) risks exile from her family to pursue a hopeless infatuation, she is achingly believable.

Hanif Kureishi's screenplay is infused with an unwavering Chekhovian compassion. Neither good nor evil, its characters are complicated, ordinary people coping as best they can with their emotional wounds and their fear of the future, grabbing at illusions of salvation and whatever zest they can drag into their lives, even while suspecting that the most passion can provide is a temporary quick fix. Find out more about the movie at:

Research info gathered at:

Now here's a poem of mine that flickers on a screen too:

Elegy For A Paper Shrine

In this scenario everyone wants a snip from prosperity’s
true vine. The women use their thumbs to cover the
sun while reclining on davenports balled-up in a
bedspread. The men weight the beast of
their nest eggs determined by the
jewelweed of marriage. Beads
of life’s sweat turn into
real beads then into
white grapes
of wrath in a crystal
bowl. Any old paper cut
can be the court jester as long
as the flame-thrower gets the publishing
rights. Pennies that don’t except buy-out deals
are placed on a busy railway line to be severed in half.
Even the live audience must have a paucity of orchestral
knowledge. All the world wants to know is if it will be rich or
if it will be poor. The answer is behind door #2, where a
paper shrine welcomes the homeless then years later
admits to having a flesh-eating heart. Blue lilies
into a lace handkerchief. A wool blanket’s
in ordinately long nap. And it’s the
queen who must decide if the
knight is properly dressed
for battle. First, he
must wear a
forget-me-not cloak
and have figs in his beard.
O yeah, and he is not allowed
to let the water for the tea boil away.
Of course, exceptions are made if he is blind.
Copyright 2008 by Maurice Oliver. All Rights Reserved.


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