Sunday, May 9, 2010

All About My Mother

In honor of Mother's Day here is a list of 10 movies about moms; good, bad and downright awful. I tried to create a nice mix between more modern titles and classics. I've also tried to include some titles you may not have ever thought of. Why keep watching the same movies over and over again?

What makes a mother so special? There are the cliches answers, she brought you into this world, therefore there is a special bond between mother and child. Maybe. Your mother is the first person to love you. I guess. There's the old saying "a face only a mother could love". Some believe no matter what you do in life, your mother will always love you. A mother can never go against her child.

Honestly, I've never had a special bond with my mother, but, now isn't the time to discuss that. Lets just all bite our tongues and for today (at least) forget all the misunderstandings we've had with mom and celebrate them.

This list is in random order

1. MOTHER (1996 Dir. Albert Brooks) - I chose this one because I think it pretty much gets the relationship between mother and child correct. Only because it is Albert Brooks a lot of that insight comes to us in way of humor.

2. I REMEMBER MAMA (1948 Dir. George Stevens) - A George Stevens classic. Irene Dunn stars as "Mama". The story of a Dutch family which comes to America and tries to adapt.

3. MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW (1937 Dir. Leo McCarey) - Not exactly about a mother, but, parents in general and their selfish children. The movie is a reminder we live in a cold world which treats our elderly far too unkindly.

4. MILDRED PIERCE (1945 Dir. Michael Curtiz) - Joan Crawford (insert "Mommie Dearest" joke here) won an Oscar for her performance in this brilliant noir film about a daughter who shoots her mother's lover. Trust me, its great!

5. THE GREAT LIE (1941 Dir. Edmund Goulding) - Melodrama near its peak. Bette Davis plays a woman who desperately wants to be a mother. The plot is far too crazy to spoil here. Not very well remembered today, because of a lack of interest in the classic cinema, but, film buffs should see this.

6. THE SIN OF MADELON CLAUDET (1931 Dir. Edgar Selwyn) - Helen Hayes stars in this early melodrama which won her an Oscar. This is the kind of morality tale Hollywood use to engage in to warn young women what would happen if they don't lead a "pure" life. It is a movie about a mother making the ultimate sacrifice.

7. ADOPTION (Orokbefogadas 1975 Dir. Marta Meszaros) - A Hungarian classic that I'm sure most American audiences have never seen and probably never heard of either. But believe it or not, there are mothers in other countries! Meszaros was at one time the leading female Hungarian director. Her films were usually described as "women films" because of their subject matter. This one is about a woman's urge to be a mother.

8. VOLVER (2006 Dir. Pedro Almodovar) - I suppose few filmmakers in contemporary cinema deal with women the way Almodovar does. I would say this is one of his best.

9. THE MOTHER (2004 Dir. Roger Michell) - Another movie that is probably not known by many people. This would be an example of a bad mother. I don't want to give away the plot but, it's probably not what you are thinking.

10. MA MERE (2004 Dir. Christophe Honore) - One of the worst movies I've ever seen. One of the few times I actually walked out of the theatre. I was able to endure nearly a hour of this mess and couldn't take any more. This is another movie about a bad mother.