Mum’s List (2016)


Director: Niall Johnson

Writer: St John Greene (Screenplay)

Starring: Rafe Spall, Emilia Fox, Elaine Cassidy, William Stagg, Matthew Stagg, Richard Cordery


Plot: A dying mother’s life lessons to the husband and sons she left behind. Based on the best-selling novel by St John (Singe) Greene, the film is the story of Singe and Kate, a couple from North Somerset, whose lives were turned upside down when Kate was diagnosed with an incurable breast cancer. Over her last few days, she created her list: writing her thoughts and memories down, to help the man she loved create the best life possible for their two sons, after she was gone.

Tagline – One of the most memorable, uplifting and beautiful stories of recent years, Mum’s List is a romance for all ages.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Emotional Shattering


Story: Mum’s List starts with Singe (Spall) trying to continue his life with his boys Reef (William Stagg) and Finn (Matthew Stagg) after the death of his wife, their mother. We flashback to when Kate (Fox) first discovered a lump and how her treatment started with less to worry about with a high percentage of survival.

We follow Singe as he remembers when he first fell in love with Kate, how the treatment didn’t go as planned and how she left Singe a list to follow on life lessons for the boys, Singe and loved ones.


Thoughts on Mum’s List


Characters – Singe is the man re-living the moments, he has lost his wife, but must stay strong for their children, seeing how he experiences the grief is the difficult part, he has moments with friends where he can let it all out, both through the treatment and after the death. he remembers meeting her and how they fell in love to focus on how to be the father the children need. Kate is the wife and mother that is stricken with cancer, she does remain positive through the first bout knowing she can beat it like her son did, but when it turns worse she must battle an unwinnable fight, deciding to leave Singe a list of what she wants from her husband when raising their boys. Rachel is the close friend to the couple, Kate’s best friend and the one that will be there for Singe to help with any parenting issues he might have.

PerformancesRafe Spall in the leading role is wonderful, he must go through a range of emotions where he shows his ability to handle each and every one of those. Emilia Fox shows us the different levels of her treatment as we do believe the suffering she is going through while remaining strong. The rest of the cast prove to be the supporting characters the family need through the film.

StoryThe story here is based on the true story as told by the Singe character from his book, this does make certain moments feel like captures of real family moments through the struggles, adding a personal touch to the story telling process. We do jump around the timeline a lot which can get difficult to keep up with as even if the transitions feel smooth. The idea is a reality that people do face everyday (with one item on the list being one that I have seen someone go through) as the rawness of this comes through strong.

SettingsThe film keeps everything in everyday settings, the locations these characters would have been too and had a memory from being the important ones for the characters.

Scene of the Movie –
The list speech.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The time jumps are too often.

Final ThoughtsThis is an emotionally powerful film that does tell the heart breaking story of losing someone to cancer, when husband must remain strong in the eyes of his children and how she helps from beyond the gave with a list of instructions.


Overall: Emotionally moving movie.




2 thoughts on “Mum’s List (2016)”

  1. I don’t think my heart could take a movie like this, but it sounds absolutely beautiful. Great review!

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