Dear Mom!

By Sadaf Jabeen
Tue, 05, 17

With Mother’s Day upon us, we celebrate some of the all time favourite movies based on motherhood...


With Mother’s Day upon us, we celebrate some of the all time favourite movies based on motherhood...

She’s literally the first person who puts up with you. Your Mother’s Day might begin with a creative breakfast in bed, or there may even be crafts or flowers involved.

But one of the best ways is to spend some time with her. There’s nothing like sharing a touching movie to bring two people together, especially when it’s a mother and her children.

Keeping that in mind we have lovingly compiled some of the best movies we would love to watch with our moms in honour of Mother’s Day...

Mildred Pierce (1945)Dear Mom!

In Michael Curtiz’s classic film noir, Mildred (Joan Crawford), a devoted, docile housewife and mother with a penchant for baking pies, is forced into being the family breadwinner when her husband leaves her. Under pressure to fund her spoilt daughter Veda’s (Ann Blyth) extravagant tastes, she takes a job as a waitress - a role that awakens her entrepreneurial spirit and inspires her to open her own restaurant. She rises to the challenge, doing whatever it takes to succeed in the restaurant business and provide her eldest daughter, Veda (Ann Blyth), with the life she desires. Adapted from a melodramatic novel by James M Cain, it is a magnificent blend of film noir and motherhood.

Terms of Endearment (1983)Dear Mom!

Based on Larry McMurtry’s novel, the film is an account of the complex and difficult relationship between a mother and daughter as they face life’s challenges over three decades. Directed by James L. Brooks, the film is a reminder of the fact that moms and daughters are bound to disagree, but their bond will always remain special, like the connection between Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine) and her daughter Emma (Debra Winger).

Postcards from the Edge (1990)Dear Mom!

Mike Nichols directs a glitzy, shallow mother-daughter melodrama, based on Carrie Fisher’s best-selling confessional novel about a woman’s struggles with drug addiction and mother-daughter rivalry. Meryl Streep stars as Suzanne Vale, an up-and-coming star whose career comes to a halt due to drug addiction. After a stint in rehab, Suzanne ends up with an appointed caretaker: her mother, Doris Mann (Shirley MacLaine). The tale unfolds with a series of confrontations, some tender, other brutal. It’s a story of daughter and mother, both frustrated at being unable to connect, due to a troubled past of the mother and inevitable effect on the daughter’s youth. It wrestles with the complicated but loving relationship between an actress and her movie star mother.

Joy Luck Club (1993)Dear Mom!

‘Joy Luck Club’ rewards on two levels: as a look at Asian-American and Asian culture, and as a consideration of the dynamics that shape mother-daughter relationships. Based on the novel by Amy Tan, the film is about four elderly Chinese women who left China for America and their relationships with their American born daughters. Each relationship is strained because of the hardships that each mother had endured. An interwoven narrative stretching over 30 years, the film traces the painful, old-world pasts of four Chinese women. The multiple plots unfold in a series of flashbacks and narration. Mothers and daughters are shown at different stages in their lives. The movie flits constantly between past and present, and between China and San Francisco. The film gives a refreshing - and bittersweet - dimension to the age-old clash between generations.

Hope Floats (1998)Dear Mom!

Directed by Forest Whitaker, the relationship between the mothers and daughters in ‘Hope Floats’ is utterly convincing. That’s what carries the movie. The film revolves around Pruitt.  When her husband’s affair is revealed on national television, Birdee Pruitt (played by Sandra Bullock) returns with her daughter to her hometown. The story follows Pruitt as she adjusts to her new life and learns to open up again.

Anywhere But Here (2000)Dear Mom!

Directed by Wayne Wang, ‘Anywhere But Here’ is a heartfelt drama about a mother and daughter having trouble connecting. The strong chemistry between Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman as a mother and daughter trying to make a fresh start in L.A. helps to elevate ‘Anywhere But Here’ above its occasional forays into melodrama. After two failed marriages, Adele (Susan Sarandon) wants out of small time Bay City, but her enthusiasm for a new adventure is not shared by her 14 year old daughter, Ann (Natalie Portman), who has to leave behind her friends and the security of a more or less normal life. Eventually, mother and daughter end up in Los Angeles, where Adele is anxious to hook into the good life - whether she can afford it or not. And to push Ann onto the screen as a young actress. They struggle and fight and each try to find their own happiness even as they slowly change as a result. Daughter learns the value of her mother’s care, and mother learns the importance of letting her child be her own self.

The Second Mother (2015)Dear Mom!

Written and directed by Anna Muylaert, ‘The Second Mother’ feels lovingly handcrafted. All the elements of the story fit impeccably together for a heart wrenching examination of relationships. This class-conflict comedy explores the sacrifices many mothers make with a lightness of touch. The film revolves around a maid - Val (Regina Case). Having left her daughter Jessica (Camila Mardila) to be raised by relatives in Pernambuco, a small town in the north of Brazil, Val works as a loving nanny for a well-to-do family in Sao Paolo. She is close to their employers’ only son Fabinho.  Comfortably employed, Val feels a constant sense of guilt about Jessica. When Jessica comes to the city to complete her university entrance exams, they reunite for the first time in 13 years but Jessica’s personality and candor upsets the unspoken yet strict balance of power in the household.

Perhaps the most poignant moment in the film is a scene where Val is consoling and caressing Fabinho on his failure to pass the university exam. She has nursed him since childhood, being his nanny and second mother all these years, right beside his birth mother, Dona Barbara (Karine Teles), Val’s employer. When Barbara tries to do the same, her son awkwardly walks away.

In this dramatic parallel, while Fabinhno’s mother was physically with her son growing up, it was Val who was closer to him. Val, on the other hand, was physically distant from her daughter for a dozen years, earning the money to send back for her keep. Neither leads to satisfactory outcomes for the emotional well being of mother and child.