A slow burn but fantastic performances all round
Made on a limited budget, this slightly stagey account of the years where the celebrated artist tried to make his mark is a real acting masterclass. Spall and Redgrave are superb, with understated performances that perfectly encapsulate the struggling artist who seems on a career to nowhere and his social status obsessed invalid mother who sees herself as middle class but somehow in a working class environment. The plot may be slight and it does have a very theatrical feel to it but the dynamic between the two leads and the feel of mid 1930s lancashire are really strong. Some wonderful interaction between Spall and Redgrave is punctuated with some splendid trick photography as we see scenes of people and places through the artists eyes. It's a not a showy overblown film but an introverted one that shows how poorly the artist was perceived at the time but with a glimmer of hope that better times lay ahead. The scene where time stops and Lowry walks between workers leaving a factory is particularly memorable. The perfect antidote to the smash, bashy, crashy big budget action films of the summer. A wonderful character driven story with two great actors who bring pathos to the story.