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Mrs Lowry & Son Film Review


Timothy Spall

L.S. Lowry

Vanessa Redgrave

Elizabeth Lowry

Rose Noble

Young Elizabeth

Wendy Morgan

Mrs Stanhope

Stephen Lord

Mr Stanhope

About the film

  • Released: 2019
  • Director: Adrian Noble
  • Producer: Debbie Grey
  • Running Time: 91 mins
  • Genre: Drama, Biography, History
  • Budget: $1.5 million
  • Distributed By: Vertigo Films

The Film

Set in the 1930's in Pendlebury in Lancashire, England, this film is a biographical film about LS Lowry and his cantankerous and bedridden mother, Elizabeth. Lawrence Stephen Lowry's paintings were mostly about Pendlebury, where he lived with his mother. He was famous for painting mainly industrial scenes in and around the North West of England. And the way he painted humans is most famously known as matchstick men. Throughout the majority of this film there is just Lowry and his mum. But you also get to see snippets of life outside of the family home, like when they get to meet their new neighbours, Mr & Mrs Stanhope. You also get to see scenes from his childhood when life, it would seem, was more blissful with trips to the seaside and life was easier for the family. To make ends meet, his day job is a rent collector to earn some money whilst in the evenings he looked after his mother and did his painting in the attic.

The film tells the story of the relationship between mother and son and her domineering force towards him. She often berates him on his paintings, tells him him they're not very good and for him to get a proper job. She had a very critical eye when it came to reviewing her sons paintings. There are times when Lowry can only take so much. There is a scene where he even gets so mad with her that he burns most of his paintings. The film is a small snapshot of his life before he gained recognition for his work. His mother always regarded his painting as a hobby. Of course he didn't agree with this. On one occasion when he received a letter from London to exhibit his work, he hid this letter from his mother for a while because he knew what reaction he would get.


My Thoughts

I found this film to be a wonderful insight into an artist I knew little about, although I've seen many of his paintings. I didn't know about the relationship he had with his mother. His father died leaving them with debts, so there was always that niggle at the back of Elizabeth's mind that the debt collectors was at the door or someone asking for money. And with her being bedridden, the majority of the film is set in her bedroom. Maybe this is why she's turned into a bitter woman.

I think both Timothy Spall and Vanessa Redgrave gave excellent performances. I loved the way they worked and interacted with each other throughout the film. I felt sorry for Lowry, mainly by the way she treated him and his art. He clearly was an outstanding artist and his work is still admired today. What I particularly thought was nice is at the end of the film you get to see the real life exhibition of his work. If only he were still alive today to see this. The film, I personally think, is insightful and heartwarming and gives us a glimpse as to what life was like for him living under the watchful eye of his mother.

This film is available to watch on Netflix.

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© 2020 Louise Powles


Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 07, 2020:

Quite an interesting story and film it seems from your review. Thank you for sharing.

Liz Westwood from UK on January 12, 2020:

You have done a great job reviewing this film. You give enough insight and information to encourage me to see it without giving it all away.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 09, 2020:

I had never heard of the artist or the film before I read your article. Thanks for sharing the information, Louise. I'll investigate the artist's work.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on January 08, 2020:

I have yet to see this movie, but I will look it up now. Thanks!

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