Observations: Just a Mo for Julie Walters
Friday 29 January 2010
The film Mo – a new biopic about Dr Marjorie "Mo" Mowlam – boasts the perfect actress for the title role. Julie Walters, 59, gives an uncannily accurate performance as the former MP for Redcar – she captures everything from Mowlam's slight speech impediment to her pigeon-toed, backwards-leaning, chest-thrust-forward gait.
Neil McKay's drama follows her through the highs of New Labour's landslide election victory in 1997 and Mowlam's triumphant stewardship of the Good Friday Agreement, as Northern Ireland Secretary, the following year. In an era when, thanks to the expenses scandal, MPs have never been more loathed, it is refreshing to be reminded that not all politicians are of the same stuff.
But the film does not ignore the very considerable lows of Mowlam's life. She is unceremoniously ejected as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in 1999, and discovers she has a brain tumour.
Walters tells me: "She is the one politician of recent times whom everyone has heard of, whether or not they know anything about politics.
"Mo was fascinating and totally unique. As soon as I became aware of her in 1997, I fell in love with her."
Mo is on Channel 4 on Sunday
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 50 books for students to read this summer: From Ernest Hemingway to Gillian Flynn
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Hercules, review: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson takes centre stage in preposterous movie
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Rebecca Hall on her film career so far: ‘I’ve played too many repressed neurotics’
50 Shades of Grey movie trailer declared sexy and sexist on Twitter
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia