Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1h 31m
The son of the title is Laurence Stephen, best known as L.S. Lowry, the Lancashire artist whose name is synonymous with the ‘matchstalk men and matchstalk cats and dogs’ celebrated in the Brian and Michael song about his paintings.
Played by Timothy Spall, Lowry is a meek, often miserable figure, dominated by his bedridden mother Elizabeth (Vanessa Redgrave), and this film from seasoned theatre director Adrian Noble mines pathos from their conflict.
Lowry is introduced on the cusp of success. A letter has arrived from London, and there’s a promise of a gallery show. Elizabeth sees little point; she’s immune to the vivid charms of his factory and street scenes, and only pays attention when a neighbour shows interest in his work. Keen to set aside his humble existence as a Salford rent collector, Lowry sees a chance for personal recognition, but his mother’s support is fickle, and his sense of his own worth is affected by her negativity.
After closing this years Edinburgh Film Festival, Artistic Director Mark Adams, described Mrs Lowry & Son as a “delightful balance of drama and humour, beautifully performed by Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Spall and directed with compassion and style by Adrian Noble.