Mrs Lowry & Son (2019)

Mrs Lowry & Son showcases Timothy Spall and Vanessa Regrave in a claustrophobic two-hander of the abusive relationship that drove one of Britain’s great painters.

Portrait of the Artist

by Alexa Dalby

Mrs Lowry & Son

CAUTION: Here be spoilers

“Having already played JMW Turner in Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner, Timothy Spall steps behind the easel of another British art world luminary: LS Lowry. But the artist who was famous for capturing industrial landscapes spends much of this film confined within the four chintzy walls of the bedroom of his overbearing mother (Vanessa Redgrave). Playing a woman whose character is monstrously distorted by self-pity, Redgrave is terrific.” – The Guardian

“It’s 1934 in Lancashire, and the atmosphere is less George Formby and more Grim Up North… Adrian Noble is primarily a theatre director, and this film, essentially a two-hander between Spall and Redgrave, has the feel of a stage production (from which it originated), which only serves to intensify the claustrophobia of the relationship between mother and son… The irony and tragedy running through all this is, of course, compounded by our knowledge that Lowry’s paintings now sell for millions of pounds. His mother didn’t live to see his success: she died in 1939, the year he received his first one-man show in London.” – Apollo magazine

In Mrs Lowry & Son, two superb actors, Timothy Spall and Vanessa Redgrave, play out the psychodrama at the heart of LS Lowry’s compulsion to paint. “I am a man who paints” he said modestly of himself: throughout his life he found beauty in the same industrial surroundings that inspired his mother’s snobbishness and which other artists ignored. Fascinating.

Mrs Lowry and Son is released on 30 August 2019 in the UK.

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