Happy Belated Mother’s day to all!! Mine was wonderful. Of course it makes me wonder about movie moms …and I was thinking who are my favorites? who do I hate? What makes a movie mom stand out for us? I offer you a few quirky takes on MOM………….
DIE Mommy DIE (2003) – starring the “Orange is the new black” star Natasha Lyonne in one of her best roles, along with writer Charles Busch and gasp; Jason Priestley. This campy romp is delightful – a mom you can love and hate at the same time with a ton of complex family dynamics. Watch it for the clothes but love it for the drama. The campy feel is over the the top and makes it cute but just when you are giggling at some silly thing there is true depth in the writing and careful attention to the design of each scene.
Serial Mom (1994) – Okay, I’m going back a bit for this one ..but you can’t pass it up. John Waters does suburbia. Ha. Its sweet, its funny, its almost …Normal? Starring the effervescent Kathleen Turner, straight up Sam Waterston and delightful whatever you want her to be Ricki Lake, this cute film is off beat with clean laundry.
Joy Luck Club (1993) – Don’t worry…we will go back even further on the next film ….This is one of those books you don’t think would work as a film and yet plays out even better visually. The actresses are so incredible and the mother / daughter relationships are so textured that everyone can relate easily to the complexities. So gracefully showing how the love / need / distance / closeness of families carries you through your entire life. Many of these actors will seem familiar, one of my favorite actresses from Soaps, Ming-na Wen is now a hit on “Agents of Shield”, France Nuyen is one of those actors that has been in everything you’ve ever watched along with the great Chao Li Chi, and Lauren Tom, Victor Wong and Tamlyn Tomita also have long long lists of credits that will make you go..oh right.
Mildred Pierce (1945) – There …finally back to the golden age …..One of Joan Crawford’s most impressive roles …she seamlessly creates a character both deeply in love with her children and yet so coldly focused that you almost have sympathy for the wicked selfish daughter. This is one of those films that has such a bastion of talent, sets, clothing and mood that each scene is a play on its own. One of the reasons I have to recommend this is that it needs to be watched more than once. Watch it first for the story and the clothes but then a few months later watch again. Try to catch those small glimmers of non acting acting, pay attention to Joan’s eyebrows, the tilt of her mouth and watch carefully as Eve Arden’s eyes send you to the next portion of the story. Jack Carson seems like that guy who plays the good guy, oh yea..I’ve seen him before …but the second viewing you should be able to see it, the subtle way he gives everything to the other actors. As big man with a voice he could easily take up the room, but he somehow directs your attention to everyone else around him.