The Mother

Rated 1.0 A widowed grandmother (Anne Reid) drifts into a torrid affair with a shiftless married workman (Daniel Craig) who is also sleeping with her neurotic daughter (Cathryn Bradshaw). Director Roger Michell—seeking, perhaps, a change of pace from glossy, star-driven vehicles like Notting Hill and Changing Lanes—overcompensates insanely in the other direction. With a lugubrious script by Hanif Kureishi, the film is a dreary, meandering wallow in the clichés of British kitchen-sink realism, descending at times into abject self-parody. Michell clogs the film with long, portentous silences that only emphasize its humdrum banality—and then the soundtrack will erupt suddenly with some chunk of absurdly inappropriate music. An earnest cast grapples ineffectually with a labored story and shopworn dialogue.