Mother's Milk

Everyone knows that Philip Larkin line: ‘They fuck you up, your mum and dad.’ For Patrick Melrose, the anti-hero of English novelist Edward St Aubyn’s semi-autobiographical books, it’s truer than most: his adult life is haunted by a harrowing childhood and his monstrous father. The third book, ‘Mother’s Milk’, was shortlisted for the Booker and has now been watered down into a pretty unworthy film. Jack Davenport plays alcoholic, depressed Patrick – now in his late thirties, a father himself and furious with his mother for signing over the family pile in Provence to new age phonies. St Aubyn has no one to blame for the mismanagement of his viper-sting social comedy and elegant, expressive prose into a tone deaf film  – he wrote the script. This would be entirely missable were it not for a performance of astonishing bravery by the late Margaret Tyzack as Patrick’s mum, who’s suffered a stroke. Tyzack must have been very poorly during filming, but she performs with huge dignity.

By: Cath Clarke


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday November 9 2012
Duration: 98 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Gerald Fox
Cast: Jack Davenport
Diana Quick
Adrian Dunbar
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