As we prepare to celebrate our moms this Mother's Day weekend, Reel Talk remembers some of the most remarkable mothers from recent cinema. From the heartfelt to the unique to the endearing, these movie moms show motherhood at its best:
Mother and Child (2010): In a marvelous depiction of motherhood, Annette Bening, Naomi Watts and Kerry Washington star as three woman each enduring their three challenging phases of parenthood. Bening is struggling to comes to terms with the child she put up for adoption as a teen 35 years ago. Watts is struggling to understand and embrace her own womanhood without having had much guidance. And Kerry Washington desperately seeks a child to adopt and love dearly as her own. Together each woman's story bravely intertwines their maternal desires and misfires.
Steel Magnolias (1989): Nothing compares to Sally Field's heartwrenching portrayal of M'Lynn Eatenton, mother of Shelby Eatenton Latcherie (played by Julia Roberts) in this southern dramedy. She may not always agree with a lot of her feisty daughter's decisions, but M'Lynn never left her daughter's side even as she slipped through her grasp.
The Blind Side (2009): Though I didn't agree that Ms. Bullock should have won the Oscar for her performance, I think we can all agree that her alter ego Leigh Anne Tuohy truly encompassed the essence of motherhood as she not only covets and protects her biological children, but also had the compassion to take in a lost young man and welcome him into her family like her own son.
As Good As It Gets (1997): Carol Connelly (played by Helen Hunt) is a the ultimate single mother and waitress struggling to care for her sick son as the rest of her world crumbles around her. Her pain is palpable to the audience, but her son never sees it. That's the beauty of her motherhood.
Stepmom (1998): Often times a mother feels threatened when a new woman steps into her children's lives when her ex-husband moves on. Stepmom is no different. But what makes Stepmom so touching is the way the two women, played by Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts, are brought together and end up leaning on one another. One woman gains the maternal instinct that came naturally from the mother, and the mother learns to love the idea that another woman can also love her children the way they need to be loved.
Changeling (1998): Clint Eastwood's signature dark style is passionately subdued in this heartbreaking true story of a young woman (played by Angelina Jolie) whose son goes missing back in the 1920s. Jolie truly captures the desperation and heartache a mother feels when she's lost her child. Though her child is gone, her love never disappears.
The Sixth Sense (1999): When your son tells you he sees dead people, you probably want to schedule the next appointment with a child psychologist. But Toni Colette's Lynn Sear struggles to understand her son. As a single mom, Sear cradles her unique child, Cole played by Haley Joel Osment, as he struggles to fly under the radar from the bullies at school. One of the most moving scenes is when Lynn and Cole are in a car and Cole hesitantly reveals a secret he's been too embarrassed and scared to share to his mom. He asks her if she thinks he's a freak. Without a beat Lynn looks intensely and reassuringly into her son's eyes and says, "I would never think that about you....ever...Got it?" If only other mothers could follow her lead...
American Violet (2008): All Dee Roberts ever wanted was her four children to be happy and healthy. As a Black single mother from a poor town in Texas,Roberts struggled to make that dream a reality. Until the day she is wrongly accused and arrested for dealing drugs. Racially profiled, locked up and feelings dejected Roberts's only request while behind bars is to see her children. Though she hates that they have to visit her in prison, she sets an example for her children by not accepting a plea bargain for a crime she didn't commit and never missing a day without being able to wipe the tear out her daughter's eyes or chastising her son for a poor choice he made. This mom showed resilience and enduring love even during her most trying time.
Which movie mom would you nominate?