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2005-08-21 - 9:52 a.m.

It's rare that I watch a film and have no criticism of it, but last night I saw The Mother, which, to me, is perfect and without flaw. Every scene, every shot, every line (screenplay by my beloved Hanif Kureishi) rings true and illuminates the story of an older woman rediscovering her life force after a lifetime of repression.

This is not, however, Something's Gotta Give or How Stella Got Her Groove Back. This is a complex and disturbing movie about family dynamics, stunted artistic creativity, loneliness, identity. It contains one of the most unsettling sex scenes I've ever witnessed (the one after the double date, for those who've seen this). The performances are vulnerable and raw and skilled, and the way the plot unfolds is, strangely, both organic and supremely satisfying for those who were raised on Hollywood movies and fairy tales.

Won't someone please befriend Rick?

And speaking of friends, this is brilliant advice for women who find that most of their friends are men.

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