It’s obvious that moms should be celebrated year-round, however Mother’s Day is when you can go that extra mile for your leading lady. A bouquet of flowers, shopping spree, favorite meal? With much of the world in isolation honoring our matriarchs is going to have to be a little simpler now. Fortunately, movie dates are not out of the question and with new extensions like Netflix party distance is a problem of the past. Selected for viewers of all calibers, here are seven movies that explore the complex relationships between people and the women they call ‘Ma’
THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)
A firm favorite in many film lovers’ hearts the world around, THE SOUND OF MUSIC is aptly titled in that it brings the sheer joy of song to the screen. Julie Andrews stars as spirited Maria, a young postulate nun sent to live with a widowed naval captain and his seven children. Although retired, Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) still runs a tight ship and Maria’s arrival is sure to shake things up. On the backdrop of the build up to the second world war, Maria opens up the Von Trapps’ hearts and home through spirited song and dance numbers and providing the family with a much-needed motherly presence. With stunning scenery of Austria and delightful music THE SOUND OF MUSICis a timeless classic that has earned its status as one of the greatest films of all time.
JOY LUCK CLUB (1993)
Based on Amy Tan’s novel of the same name, THE JOY LUCK CLUB beautifully lays out the intricate histories of four women and their daughters. In a series of flashbacks we explore their journey through motherhood and the hardships they endured while emigrating from pre-revolutionary China to America. The mothers and daughters learn things about one another that help them understand the complicated facets of their at times strained relationships. While the moments shared between the mothers and daughters are nothing short of touching, the way this community of women support one another fills the film with poignant moments throughout.
FREAKY FRIDAY (2003)
Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis form an unexpectedly killer mother-daughter combo in this noughties teen flick. Adapted from Mary Roger’s homonymous novel, Tess (Curtis) is a sensible widowed therapist and mother to Anna (Lohan), a rebellious teenage musician, and her younger brother Harry. Like most mother-daughter relationships, theirs is fraught with disagreement. Eventually they claim in frustration that the one has no idea what it’s like to walk in the others’ shoes. What they didn’t know was that a meddling old lady had cursed them to swap bodies using a magic fortune cookie. Turns out she may have just had the right idea because as they try to switch back, they’ll get to know one another better than ever before. It’s a bizarre nightmare from your wildest dreams and Curtis and Lohan’s undefeatable chemistry bring it all together with great comedic effect.
MAMMA MIA! (2008)
Meryl Streep proved to the world that she could really do it all in this jukebox musical of ABBA’s greatest hits. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is about to get married and she has no-one to walk her down the aisle. For all her life her mother, Donna (Streep), has kept the identity of her father shrouded in mystery – until Sophie finds one of Donna’s old journals. Using the information within (and unbeknownst to Donna) Sophie invites the three men who could be her father to the Greek island site of her wedding. Romance, the Mediterranean Sea, ABBA – it’s hard not to love. With an all-star ensemble cast belting out classic cheesy tunes MAMMA MIA! is instantly a guilty pleasure.
Considered by many to be a forerunner in the genre of French New Wave Horror, INSIDE (French: À l’intérieur) is a gory peak into the lengths a mother would go to for her child. The film follows Sarah (Allison Paradis), who is heavily pregnant and alone on Christmas Eve. A widow, her husband died some months earlier in a car accident which she and her unborn child survived. It’s a bleak situation, and it’s about to get a lot worse. For the rest of the night Sarah is violently harassed by a mysterious woman (Beatrice Dalle) who seems intent on getting one thing – Sarah’s baby. INSIDE is a masterfully filmed story of survival and mothers’ love that proves to be a genuinely terrifying experience.
THE BLIND SIDE (2009)
Based on the true-life events of NFL player Michael Oher, The Blind Side presents one of the many unconventional ways meaningful family relationships form. The protagonist Michael “Big Mike” Oher (Quinton Aaron) is a kindhearted 17-year-old boy from a disadvantaged home in Tennessee. Impressed by his generous physical size the coach of a prestigious high school football team offers him a scholarship however Big Mike struggles to adjust in this new environment. One day the mother of one of Big Mike’s schoolmates, Leigh-Anne (Sandra Bullock), sees him in the rain and brings him into her home pushing him to reach his full potential. Bullock gives a formidable performance in this tearjerker, reminding us that sometimes our true mothers present themselves later in life.
BRAVE is the thirteenth entry in the Disney Pixar canon and the first and only to feature a princess. Our heroine, Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) of the Clan Dunbroch is as fiery as her hair. Much to her mother’s (Emma Thompson) grief she has always strayed from her royal duties, instead, preferring to shoot arrows or ride her horse. After refusing her betrothal she runs away and encounters a mysterious witch in the woods who grants her a wish. If there’s one thing movies have taught us about wishes, it’s that you better be specific. Unfortunately, this film is set about 1000 years before the invention of television and the Queen is turned into a bear! She must repair the bonds she broke to save her mother and undo the witch’s spell. Gorgeously rendered in the setting of the Scottish Highlands, BRAVE is a moving tale that lives up to its name.