Mrs Lowry and Son starring Timothy Spall and Vanessa Redgrave as mother and son in its simplicity is about a relationship between one of Britain's most iconic artist L S Lowry (Laurence Stephen) and his mother Elizabeth with whom he lived until her death. Born on 1 Nov 1887, he lived and worked in Pendlebury, Lancashire for more than 40 years, passing away of pneumonia at the Woods Hospital in Glossop, Derbyshire at aged 88 on 23 Feb 1976.
You'll find a large collection of Lowry's work on permanent public display in The Lowry, a purpose-built art gallery on Salford Quays, named in his honour. This film follows bachelor Lowry who takes care of his invalid mother, in the beginnings of his career. He yearns for his work to be appreciated in London, in spite of a mother who tries to dissuade him from pursuing his artistic ambitions. She never fails to voice her opinion at what a disappointment he is to her. Yet, love is at the very heart of this film as Lowry desperately seeks to create something, anything, which will make her happy.
If you're looking for a thrilling, action-packed, fast-moving film, you won't find it here. What you'll find are actors Timothy Spall and Vanessa Redgrave at their absolute best! They have taken the simplicity of the script to its deepest level emotionally with aplomb. Much like a Lowry painting. If you look really deep into it, you see so much depth and emotion in this character-based production. At the top of their craft, only heavyweights like Spall and Redgrave could have pulled off this complicated relationship between mother and son and kept the audience interested and entertained.
They were able to portray Elizabeth's negativity and put-downs towards her son, yet still leave the love beneath the surface intact. Look deeply and you'll see it's not all black and white. Spall will break your heart as the son who has a deep love for his mother and wants nothing more than to make her happy. His dutiful loving care and endless patience towards his mother, while his heart is breaking is so tender and will tug at your heartstrings. Every emotion can be felt and seen in what must have been such a challenging character to play; for in the stillness of every move, no less than a master of the craft can portray it believably and keep such silence interesting.
L S Lowry became internationally famous for his depictions of 20th century industrial life in the North West of England, and the legacy of his work remains a huge presence in the region. Such was his eventual success that he was offered five honours over his lifetime, including a knighthood in 1968; all of which he rejected. He holds the record for the most rejected British honours. Needless to say, his work is worth millions.