To say this film blew me away is an understatement, I went into it thinking it would be a cheesy comedy about a mother who gave her son up and now wants to reconcile, that’s what I got from the brief advertising of the film in the UK.
What I actually got was a true story that will melt your heart and have you engrossed in a story that has many twists and turns.
Judi Dench pulls off the Irish accent and for me delivers one of the best performances of her career, to date she normally plays the very stuck up characters who are either fighting or keeping power over others, it makes a nice change to see her be so fragile and insecure.
Steve Coogan has been a big TV star in the UK for the past twenty years, with his biggest hit arriving in the shape of Alan Partridge, the transition into film hasn’t been an easy one, he always seems a bit insecure in his movie roles, his UK stuff is always delivered with a taste of arrogance, were his American and movie stuff has screamed at times; PLEASE LIKE ME!!!!!, In this role he is less needy and actually delivers a dramatic and heart pumping performance that will get you siding with him by the end, and dare I say it, liking him.
One of the most underrated films of the year, by far, a terrifically sad story that is so easy to enjoy.
The best example of the phrase; Truth is stranger than fiction!
Facts about the film –
There are flashbacks which are done with “home movies”. Some of these were created for the film but some of them are from actual footage of her real son.
While visiting the convent, Martin Sixsmith sees an autographed photo of an American actress on the wall and asks if it is Jayne Mansfield (and is told it’s actually Jane Russell). A character who appears later in the film, Pete Olsson, is played by Peter Hermann, who is married to Jayne Mansfield’s daughter, Mariska Hargitay.