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4.6 out of 5 stars33
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 2 February 2010
Everybody should see this biography - Mo Mowlam was undoubtedly an amazing
woman. It may very well reduce you to tears, as it has me, but watching
Mo's story unfold will make her a rightful heroine in the eyes of many who
were too young to have known her outstanding contribution in bringing peace
to Northern Ireland. Britain lost it's best ever female role model when Mo
died - her integrety, determination, courage and overwhelming spirit are
rare qualities these days and I can only hope that my daughter grows up to
be half the woman she was.

This film ought to be part of the national curriculum - teenage girls need
to see that there's more to life than being a drugged up popstar or a
cosmetically enhanced glamour girl...!

RIP Mo - you were one in a million and are sadly missed
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VINE VOICEon 31 January 2010
Set against the backdrop of the rise to power of New Labour in 1997 - it is hard to decide which area is more upsetting: The battle with illness by Mo, or that dreamy Summer of 1997 when the entire country watched with such hope as Labour came to power. Flawless acting by Julie Walters, at times slightly overplaying the lines, is mixed with emotional scenes between husband (played by David Haig, not only as husband but also best friend) recently married at the time, and close political colleagues. Of course the main subject matter is the determination to bring peace to Northern Ireland. This is not a particularly enjoyable film, it's bleak by it's very nature - but it's also superbly sharp and moving. Julie Walters plays Mowlam as wacky and comical, (but above all that, so brave) although there is nothing particularly light-hearted about any line in the film. It's far too real for that.
As Mowlam begins to loose the battle - so delicately filmed are the scenes, it's hard not to think of the fragility of your own life and family.
A superb film.
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on 12 February 2010
I was aware that Mo Mowlam was one of the few politicians with such generosity of spirit, a passion for people, and a determination to improve people's lives. I missed seeing this great drama on television recently and so decided to purchase the DVD. I am glad i watched this film with Julie Walters who was absolutely magnificent playing Mo, and i sometimes forgot that it wasn't Mo i was watching and listening to. Julie Walters is a great actor and she did a fantastic service to the memory of one of our greatest politicians ever.
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on 31 August 2010
This film lets you see the decency that some politicians have and the altruistic actions of the few. It also lets you see the very dark side of NuLab and the political positioning and back-stabbing.

As Mo (Julie Walters) says. "If you want a friend in politics, buy a dog!"
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on 27 May 2011
Being slightly in awe of Julie Walters acting abilities I offer no apology in being bias with my review. She captures brilliantly the inner essence of Mo & puts across the story of Mo's political & personal life with such aplomb its almost like watching a documentary. And what a life story!
This is without doubt a fantastic portrayal of an incredible woman. She was obviously a very decent, honest, funny and caring human being - inner values she carried with her into the political arena - sadly where they were taken advantage of. May she rest in peace knowing she was true to her conscience. A must see film.
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Mo Mowlam was a remarkable politician. She was unconventional and sometimes unpredictable. This could disarm her opponents and was useful in getting people to move away from their entrenched positions. In her role as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 1997-99 this did enable her to move the peace process forward. A realist, though, would have to admit that the process was already well under way when the Blair Government came into power and that much of the heavy lifting was still to be done after she left. It was a team effort and many, many players have their names on the roll of honour - even if this film does conveniently forget to mention the SDLP.

This film works because it shows the personal story of Mo Mowlam's battle against brain cancer with the politics forming something of a backdrop. In this, it is warm, kind and plausible.

In terms of the political backdrop, there are some shortcomings. Having been shadow Northern Ireland Secretary for a number of years, her appointment to the role in Government would not have been a surprise and, given her earlier statements, was probably not as unwelcome as the film suggests. Some of the details have been spiced up for drama. For example, the apparently impromptu walkabout in Belfast city centre would probably not have been a result of being caught in traffic (the Secretary of State had police blue-light escorts). Some of the famous lines are delivered to the wrong people. The tea-lady quip, for example, was actually made to Senator George Mitchell. The wig on the table was not first played in front of Sinn Fein. I doubt the rudeness of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness since the peace process was largely instigated at their own behest and since it doesn't match with David Ervine's recollections of their conduct.

Moreover, the film cuts out the many lower profile characters - the political groupings were more than just the party leaders and deputies; there would have been officials present throughout; there were other ministers (actually, Paul Murphy and Lord Dubs were the ministers supporting Mo Mowlam on the political talks, not Adam Ingram. Speaking of which, Adam Ingram was completely unrecognisable. In the film, he was used purely as a foil for Mo Mowlam to express her thoughts when she was working - with her husband Jon providing that foil after hours.

For all the dramatisation, I do believe Mo Mowlam was caught accurately and the film does offer food for thought as to how far her actions were driven by the cancer and how far they were driven by herself. Whilst this may not matter to most of us - the actions speak for themselves - it clearly mattered to Mo. She did conduct herself with courage and integrity. She was a hero to many both in Ireland and in Britain. But she was not the only person to play a role in bringing lasting peace to Northern Ireland.
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on 23 February 2014
I enjoyed this even if at times also found it sad..Truly portrayed by Juile Walters as Politician Mo Mollam the outspoken mp who fought for northern Ireland and won respect from all corners. To finding out she was terminally ill and trying hard to hide her illness from Tony Blair then prime minister at no10.Mo was a fighter and also funny but most of all won the hearts of parliament and beyond when the truth finally was discovered by her closest employees until she passed on..You will love this..
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on 26 November 2012
A great film showing the pivotal moments concerning Dr Mowlam's involvement in the Good Friday Agreement. It does not gloss over her extreme behavior such as delibertately flashing her knickers to discomford Trimbel or her colourful language. Certainly both uUnionists and Republicans stated publically that they saw such behavior as underhand and the need for Blair to become involved at the end and the cosying up of Trimbal and Mendleson can be transferred back to this. At the time Blair's treatment of Mo was seen as jelousy of her popularity but this film gives alternative reasons. Dr Mowlam's deterioration is painful to the viewer.
I would have given 5 stars but for silly medical inaccuracies such as the grade being given with no biopsy and the mask (normally the 'target' for radiotherapy ie tatooed on the body but for the head such targets are marked on the mask, in fact this is the sole reason for the mask)which had no target marked. More significantly the suggestion brain cancers may be 50 years old and so determine the chatacter of the sufferer for their whole life gave me concern.
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on 17 June 2015
Julie Walters gives a performance of a lifetime as Mo Mowlam, a sad, sad woman who was the first and certainly not the last to be double crossed by Tony Blair inj the fruitless search for a Peace Agreement in Northern Ireland
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on 3 December 2012
A drama starring the wonderful Julie Walters as a larger than life Mo Mowlam who is struck down by a brain tumor just as the Blair administration is coming to power. She goes on to work out the terms of the Good Friday agreement by winning the trust of all sides in the conflict. Important part of our recent history and an excellent portrayal of the part this wonderful woman played in bringing peace to Northern ireland.
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