10 Iconic Films Celebrating Moms This Mother’s Day


10 Iconic Films Celebrating Moms This Mother’s Day


Written by: Arcadia Publishing 

Epic movie marathons aren’t just for Christmastime or Halloween. For a true film lover, any occasion is a great excuse to pop some popcorn and indulge in some serious screen time. We don’t see any reason why Mother’s Day should be an exception.

This May 14th, consider treating your mom (or any of the special mother figures in your life) to a delicious homemade meal followed by a movie marathon of films that celebrate the rewards of motherhood, while also recognizing some of the challenges mothers face. The following are just a few films featuring moms we love.

  1. Terms of Endearment (1983)

If you and Mom don’t mind keeping the tissues handy, James L. Brooks’s Terms of Endearment is a Mother’s Day must. Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger both deliver incredible performances as Aurora and Emma Greenway, respectively.

Follow them both as they navigate numerous ups and downs over a 30-year time span, including marital infidelity, new love, and even terminal cancer. It is also well worth seeing just for Jack Nicholson’s energetic performance as former astronaut, Garrett Breedlove.

  1. Mermaids (1990)

Not every mother-daughter relationship is a “best friends” type of deal 100% of the time. If you and your mother sometimes butt heads, but always seem to find your way back to that special connection you share, Mermaids is a great pick for your Mother’s Day marathon.

Cher and Winona Ryder play Rachel and Charlotte Flax in this endearing 1990 “dramedy.” Rachel is an unconventional single mother that’s just moved her two daughters to a small Massachusetts town during the 1960s. Laugh and cry as they weather life’s many challenges together.

  1. Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974)

If you’re like many people, you immediately picture gritty dramas like Taxi Driver and Goodfellas when you think of Martin Scorsese. However, you won’t want to overlook this 1974 gem starring the wonderful actress, Ellen Burstyn.

Burstyn plays a widowed mother that leaves the small New Mexico town where she lives and heads for California in search of a better life for herself and her 11-year-old son. Watch what happens when an unexpected change of plans leads her to settle in Arizona instead.

  1. Juno (2007)

Your own mother can probably tell you that becoming a mother is often pretty complicated, especially when it comes to timing. Sometimes it refuses to follow your plan, and takes matters into its own hands.

Diablo Cody’s quirky Juno tells the fabulously funny story of an offbeat Minneapolis area teen that finds herself unexpectedly pregnant. Join her as she navigates pregnancy, arranges for the adoption of her unborn child, and shares endearing moments with her family.

  1. The Sound of Music (1965)

This heartfelt family film is a lot more than an infectious soundtrack and a stellar performance on the part of Julie Andrews. It’s also proof positive that not all stepmothers are wicked. Some have truly loving, inspiring relationships with their stepchildren that deserve more than a mention on Mother’s Day.

The Sound of Music tells the real-life story of the Von Trapp family singers, a very well-known singing group from the pre-World War I era. It also invites viewers to rethink what it means to be a family.

  1. The Babadook (2014)

Do you and your mother love nothing more than a good horror-suspense flick? Would you love to treat yourself to a surprisingly different take on motherhood that will have you on the edge of your seat? Add The Babadook to your must-see list for Mother’s Day.

Jennifer Kent’s unusual tale is the story of a widowed mother (wonderfully played by Essie Davis), her young son, and a nightmarish presence that enters their lives via a decidedly strange children’s story. The film does a wonderful job of exploring how themes like grief, shame, and stress relate to motherhood.

  1. Steel Magnolias (1989)

Steel Magnolias doesn’t just do an amazing job of celebrating moms, but daughters, too. It’s a great film that celebrates the strength, resilience, and loyalty of all women.

Sally Field and Julia Roberts turn in a pair of stellar performances as mother-daughter pair, M’Lynn and Shelby Eatenton. The supporting cast—including Shirley MacLaine, Dolly Parton, Daryl Hannah, and Olympia Dukakis—is just as big a treat to watch.

  1. Mildred Pierce (1945)

If you’re like many, you best remember Joan Crawford as the terrifying, wire hanger-hating mom from the true tale, Mommy Dearest. However, you won’t want to miss her Oscar-winning performance as one of the most iconic screen mothers of all time in Mildred Pierce.

Michael Curtiz’s beautiful noir gem follows the story of a waitress turned successful businesswoman. The film, on the whole, is wonderful in and of itself, but the sacrifices the title character makes for her daughter are what make it a must-see this Mother’s Day.

  1. Brave (2012)

Looking for something family-friendly enough for your kids to join you and your mother for movie night?  Disney-Pixar’s Brave is a visual treat that everyone in your household will be able to appreciate, but it’s not your typical Disney princess story.

Main character Merida isn’t wasting her days dreaming about the day a prince rescues her from her troubles. She’s a feisty individual who is determined to be herself and carve out her own path. She also proves that it isn’t always the mother protecting the daughter. Sometimes it’s the other way around.

  1. Little Women (1994)

If there’s a fictional mom that’s more iconic than Little Women’s Marmee, we don’t know of one! There are many film adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s classic tale, but Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 version starring Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon isn’t to be missed.

Join strong, independent Marmee as she raises her four equally amazing daughters in Civil War-era New England. It will pull at your heartstrings from beginning to end, guaranteed—especially if you grew up with lots of sisters. Your mom will definitely love this gorgeous adaptation of a time-honored classic.


How will you spend Mother’s Day this year?

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