British artist L. S. Lowry (Spall) lived most of his life with his over-bearing mother (Redgrave). Bed-ridden and unhappy, she tried to dissuade her bachelor son from pursuing his artistic ambitions, while never failing to tell him what a disappointment he was to her.
But Lowry was inspired by the look of the people, the factory chimneys and textile mills on his doorstep, and persisted in his attempts to become an artist. By day, he walked the streets of Salford doing his job as a rent collector and socialising with the factory workers; in the evenings he took art classes and then would paint at the top of the house after his mother had gone to bed.
Anchored by excellent performances from Spall and Redgrave, this a beautiful, delicate and amusing story about family separated by art and ambition, and a vivid snapshot of the industrial North West.