Top Ten… Movies About Motherhood

Much the same as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day has that essence of becoming a bit over-commercialised. Admittedly, I don’t do enough for my mum now that I am an adult but as a child, it wasn’t all about teddy bears and toiletries, I liked to prepare a picnic to take on a day out somewhere.

Seeing as Mother’s Day is almost upon us, and in appreciation of all the mums, moms and mumsie’s out there, I wanted to share with you my top ten films about motherhood. So, mums and daughters, grab your popcorn and settle in for a good movie night.

10. Life As We Know It (2010)

© 2009 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. – Photo by Peter Iovino

Two singletons, Holly (Katherine Heigl) and Eric (Josh Duhamel) are completely incompatible as a blind date, set up by their married best friends prove. The only thing they have in common is their goddaughter, Sophie. When Sophie’s parents are killed in a car accident, Holly and Eric are named joint guardians. Hilarity ensues as they learn, not just how to live together, but also how to raise a baby.

9. Knocked Up (2007)

Having achieved a great promotion at work, Allison (Katherine Heigl) decides to let her hair down and celebrate at a night club, where she meets stoner Ben (Seth Rogen). Many drinks and some poor decisions later and their one night stand has lead to the proverbial bun in the oven. But before their baby is born, Allison needs to learn to let go a little and Ben needs to grow up and take some responsibility.

8. Bad Moms (2016)

When three over-worked, under-appreciated mums (Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn) have had enough of the endless PTA meetings, science projects and bake sales, they decide to go ‘rogue’ and partake in a little well deserved self-indulgence. I’m sure all you mums out there will be able to appreciate the need to take a break.

7. Ladybird (2017)

Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is in her final year of high school and dreams of studying art in “a city with culture” but mediocre grades and her families financial woes, will she be able to achieve her dream.

Although this is technically a coming-of-age story, I had to include it because of the relationship Lady Bird has with her mother (Laurie Metcalf). It is a powerful reminder that even when a mother and daughter hit those troublesome teenage years, the love is still there deep down.

6. Juno (2007)

The unexpected smash-hit, Juno tells the story of a sixteen year old girl (Ellen Page) who is faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Initially choosing to get an abortion, she changes her mind and opts for a closed adoption instead. The film follows Juno as she navigates pregnancy and school, builds a relationship with the adoptive parents and begins to understand what love truly is.

5. Room (2015)

Room tells a harrowing story of a young woman, Joy (Brie Larson), who is kidnapped and held in a single room for seven years, even forced to give birth in captivity. As her son, Jack (Jacob Tremblay), celebrates his fifth birthday, Joy hatches a plan to escape but after living in ‘Room’ for so long, how will they cope out in the real world.

Whilst it not a particularly feel-good film, the relationship between Joy and Jack is intriguing to watch, as she does everything within her very limited power to make sure Jack is as happy, healthy and safe as possible.

4. The Florida Project (2017)

For many young children, Disney World is the happiest place on earth but in the shadow of the lights and fireworks, there is a rundown motel that a number of struggling families call home. The Florida Project focuses on the story of Moonee and her struggling single mother, Halley, who takes increasingly greater risks in a bid to make ends meet.

This is probably quite a divisive film to include but I think it a heart-breaking and probably realistic indication of what some people will choose to do to provide for their children. When I saw this at the cinema, the woman in front of me was disgusted by the choices Halley made but I think that judgement is easy to make in the comfort of your designer clothes.

3. Brave (2012)

Beautifully animated, BraveBtells the story of Merida, a headstrong princess who is determined to carve her own path in life but when her mother, the Queen, insists she sticks with tradition and chooses a suitor for marriage, Merida sets out to change her fate with the help of a beastly curse.

Whilst I am often loathed to refer to Pixar’s Brave as a Disney film, for the sake of my argument here, I will. Brave is the first Disney film not to have a love interest but instead the focus is on family, in particular the ever tricky relationship between mother and daughter.

2. The Blind Side (2009)

The Blind Side tells the phenomenal true story of Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), an impoverished, homeless teenager with no real family or education. When a football coach of sees athletic potential in him, he is accepted into a prestigious local private school and Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock), the mother of another student, takes him in and gives him a home. The love and support given to him by his adoptive family helps him achieve a life that he would never have believed possible.

1. Stepmom (1998)

Note: the film is not actually in black & white 🙂
Photo by Columbia Pictures – © 1998

The number one spot on my Mother’s Day top ten goes to a totally underrated gem of a film starring Julia Roberts (Isabel) and Susan Sarandon (Jackie). Not only does this film look at the impact of a broken home and the sometimes strained relationship between children and their stepmothers, but also the relationship between the two matriarchal figures. When Jackie is diagnosed with terminal cancer, her and Isabel need to try and put their differences aside to provide the best possible future for the children, Anna (Jena Malone) and Ben (Liam Aiken).

So there you have it, my top ten movies that embrace the trials and tribulations of motherhood. Do you have any favourites that I have missed? Let me know.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Charli Dee says:

    Interesting list! I loved Brave! I really enjoyed the focus on the mother-daughter relationship. There wasn’t even any implications on who Merida would end up with romantically. She didn’t really show interest in any of her suitors. That just wasn’t the focus. Another movie I think can be added to the list would be would be My Sister’s Keeper. Have you ever seen it? Mama Mia, Coraline, and The Joy Luck Club are god ones too (I read a little of the book for The Joy Luck Club though, and haven’t seen the movie, So I don’t know if this counts lol).


    1. Kirsty T says:

      I’ve not seen My Sister’s Keeper of The Joy Luck Club but I’ll add them to my list (which is actually about as long as my arm rn!!).

      Coraline is a really interesting choice and would definitely fit in well with my list.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Charli Dee says:

        As long as your arm🤣 I see my extra comment wasn’t necessary! Sorry about that! 😁 No problem though! Enjoyed the list!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Charli Dee says:

    Did I forget to add Coraline? Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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