Hey all you baby makers, adoptive human growers and people with bosoms that comfort everyone who smooshes their face into it. It is indeed a day of celebration that have taken care of us in a motherly fashion. For many, mothers are God or a beacon of love, devotion and laughter.
In movies, this often feels the same, with our favourite characters helping raise our characters and put them on the good path. And sometimes in movies, they are twisted, self-absorbed and completely monstrous.
To celebrate Mother’s Day, here are the list of unforgettable movie mothers!
Dahlia & Christabella Gillespie – Silent Hill (2006)
Being part of a religious centred town who took their faith in the big G-O-D a little too seriously must be tricky for a mother trying to raise her child after wedlock. For Dahlia Gillespie, it was more than she can bear especially when her sister, Christabella, is the matriarch of this cult like town. When Dahlia’s daughter Alessa was assaulted at school, Christabella decides to cleanse the child by fire which only leads Alessa to become this she-demon who now controls a warped death-trapped universe we’ve all had nightmares about. Dahlia is partly at fault but still loved her daughter enough for Alessa to not kill her with that weirdly attractive Pyramid Head. Christabella, motherly leader of the sinners in town, is a straight up bitch though.
Violet Weston – August Osage County (2013)
Talking about straight up bitches, then there is this piece of work from August Osage Country. In an Academy Award nominated role, Meryl Streep plays the foul mouthed and angered Violet who is mourning the death of her husband. However, things get a little heated at his wake when the whole family and their secrets pull up a chair at the dining table over boiling in the Southern heat. Violent is not just cantankerous, she’s cunt-tankerous – a moody cow who will do anything to prove she is in charge and that she is always right. If that means she has to belittle and degrade her daughter until they move as far away from her as possible, then so be it. Streep definitely lavishes this role too making it an enthralling film.
Raimunda – Volver (2006)
Volver is a film about women and it is strongly done too. Almodovar has a history at giving his leading ladies a voice, and it shines through indefinitely in Volver. Played sublimely by Penelope Cruz, Raimunda is a strong and powerful mother who strives to protect her daughter at all costs. When her daughter murders her father after he attempts to rape her, they flee to the old villages that Raimunda grew up in. That’s where she is revisited by her own mother to make things right, only she thought her mother was dead. Raimunda is a multi-facetted character with emotion running deep with her asset. Cruz enchants the screen with supremacy. Raimunda is a truly magnificent mother.
Molly Weasley – Harry Potter Series (2001- 2011)
“Nobody touches my daughter, you bitch.”
And here endeth the lesson. Ok so let’s elaborate. Molly Weasley is the shit when it comes to motherhood. She’s caring yet stern, frantic yet stable and God help you if you lay a finger on her children. What’s more special than this is that the extension of her love enfolds those around her. The way she dotes on Harry shows she is an earnest and caring soul who gifts so many with her little touches that shows she is thoughtful and that she cares. How do we make this better? You put Julie Walters in the role for the movie franchise. Incredibly well done too.
Queen Elinor – Brave
In most Disney movies, especially involving Princesses, there isn’t a mother around to guide them through their issues. I’m sure it’s because if a mother like Queen Elinor were around then they’d get the shit done. Elinor oozes royal class whilst still having will and determination, even when a bear. Come on, this is a woman who makes a room of sparring men stop just by walking with confidence.
She also learns a lesson too, alongside Merida, that life isn’t all about tasks and spending quality time with her daughter is still a vital component. Together they grow. It’s stunning to watch.
Erica Sayers – Black Swan (2010)
There is an ambiguity with Erica, especially with Nina’s unravelling psyche as to whether the portrayal of Erica in the film is actually real. Either way, Erica is a horrid mother because of her failed dance career that puts undeniable pressure on Nina after scoring the role as the titular Black Swan. Demanding, when her child exhibits signs of self-abuse and harm, she off-loads more mental harm onto her daughter. Played so well by Barbra Hershey , this mother is what happens at the extreme end of those dance moms – pushing their daughter to breaking point.
Wendy Torrance – The Shining (1980)
Everyone always automatically feels sorry for Shelley Duvall. The mental strain that Kubrick placed upon her during filming was second to none but Tippi Hendron in The Birds. However, the performance he got from her was engaging and stunning portrayal of a mother on the edge. After dealing with a past of her stressed writer husband Jack, when he starts exhibiting worrying sign again and Danny, her son, is hurt – she launches straight into defence mood. And when Jack really turns psychopathic, she knows that she has to fight to save herself and her son. Even if that means swinging a bat at the craziest version of Jack Nicholson.
Evelyn Stoker – Stoker (2013)
This may seem like a completely cop out of an entry, but to sum up how intensely messed up Evelyn is with her murderous daughter (in some sort of weird sexual battle over the equally murderous Uncle Charlie), you only have to turn to this monologue;
“You know, I’ve often wondered why it is we have children in the first place. And the conclusion I’ve come to is… At some point in our lives we realize things are screwed up beyond repair. So we decide to start again. Wipe the slate clean. Start fresh. And then we have children. Little carbon copies we can turn to and say, “You will do what I could not. You will succeed where I have failed.” Because we want someone to get it right this time. But not me… Personally speaking I can’t wait to watch life tear you apart.”
Of course, in the end, the pair find themselves in this weird stalemate but the damage from Evelyn monologue and cool nature is done.
Eva Khatchadourian – We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)
Being the parent of a murderer is a chilling situation to face. Based on a book by Lionel Shriver, the cinematic version of We Need To Talk About Kevin introduced the cinematic industry to Ezra Miller who plays the titular psychopathic Kevin. But really, this is Tilda Swinton’s infallible performance as Eva. Having the cope with the heinous act that Kevin has committed, whilst retrospectively looking back of their relationship and the warning signs, Eva’s role is a defining and resolute portrayal of how a mother’s love could be bent and even broken as she watches her little boy grow up to be a killer. It’s astonishing work from Swinton and director Lynne Ramsey.
The Other Mother – Coraline (2009)
Not one mother on this list has imprinted onto my soul as much as The Other Mother in Coraline. Honestly. Her beady button eyes bore into my deepest fears and I instantly feel like a child when I watch the film. This is Henry Selick at his most terrifying. With the help of Neil Gaiman, the author of the original story, The Other Mother is brimming with sinister predilections. As she entangles Coraline into her web, a warped mirror of her real mother Mel, The Other Mother transforms into a horrid beast. Voiced effectively well by Terri Hatcher, this is an unforgettable yet frightening mother.
Happy Mother’s Day!