• Guy Jeffries

Mum's List Review


Director: Niall Johnson.

Starring: Rafe Spall, Emilia Fox, Elaine Cassidy, Richard Cordery, Ross McCormack, Sophie Simnet.

There isn't much to go on writer/director Niall Johnson who's apparently been fairly quiet since directing Keeping Mum and writing White Noise back in 2005. But he comes back in full swing directing this film based on the best-selling book written by St. John (Singe) Greene, the husband of Kate and father of their two children.

It's a truly heart-breaking story of the devastation cancer does, not just to the sick, or the body, but to those left behind as we watch the story unravel itself during the wake of Kate being taken by cancer. There's no surprises here, you know the outcome, but it's not about that, but about a celebration of love that stays and the emotional struggle some have to deal with after. The story does an amazing job of giving us the ideals and history of their relationship, the love and the things that matter most.

Johnson does a grand job cleverly flipping between with and without Kate, seeing the reminders, the flashbacks of happy memories and then the heart-ache and absence, the painful aftermath of trying to cope. It is, as the title suggests a list of things Mum/Kate wanted Singe to carry out after her passing, but it's not linear and instead has a lovely structure to help tell their story, working their way through the sweet list of things to do.

Rafe Spall plays Singe and gives, in my opinion, his greatest performance ever, hopefully doing the real Singe and family proud. Emilia Fox plays Kate brilliantly, powerful and joyful yet both give tear-provoking performances, showing what terminal cancer can do to a loving family such as the Greenes, actually being difficult to watch at times.

Impressive score from actress Amelia Warner with a mixture of touching modern tracks from Lauren Aquilina, Walking On Cars, Una Healy and some eighties classics reminiscent of their childhood romance. Including a good reworking of Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me) by James Morrison.

Unfortunately I think this film is going to get overlooked or missed by many while on the big screen, which is a shame. It's such a touching story and a wonderful tribute to not just the Greene's but to everyone who has suffered or lost out to the dreadful C. It's a heart-rending, emotional story beautifully crafted together. Bring tissues.

Running Time: 9

The Cast: 9

Performance: 9

Direction: 9

Story: 9

Script: 9

Creativity: 8

Soundtrack: 9

Job Description: 9

The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for Rafe Spall's performance alone.

Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Yes

90% 9/10

#NiallJohnson #RafeSpall #EmiliaFox #ElaineCassidy #RichardCordery #RossMcCormack #SophieSimnett #AmeliaWarner