Mrs Lowry and Son

So, we promised you a film a bit closer to home…we’re hopping down the road to Pendlebury this week. 

Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Spall steal the show in this low-key tale of the great artist finding success while caring for his curmudgeonly mother.

Written by Martyn Hesford and adapted from his own play, the film is a snapshot of the life of Lancashire artist L S Lowry. It’s set in the years before he found success for his scenes of industrial life, all busy with small, colourful figures lovingly referred to as “matchstick men”. Hesford’s writing is sharp and insightful when it comes to class and opportunity. 

“I paint what I see. I paint what I feel”—he does have the fever burning inside of him that is unleashed when he sits down in front of the canvas.

Spall’s portrayal of Lowry as a weak, dominated but devoted son – and as a brilliant observer of life is truly memorable. The short scenes that show how LS had a wonderful childish streak provided much needed charm and relief from the film’s general angst.