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5 Films that celebrate all kinds of mums

BY Jamie Flook

9th Mar 2023 Film & TV

5 Films that celebrate all kinds of mums

With Mother's Day approaching, here are five films to watch that celebrate motherhood in its many forms

Mums come in all varieties. There are funny mums, fickle mums, jolly mums, grumpy mums and all kinds of mums. There are many mums leading different lives and at the end of the day most of them like chocolate.  

You can get your mum chocolate, a card and flowers (or chocolate flowers) but if you want to make the day a bit more memorable, why not recommend a film that touches on the theme of motherhood?  

For all the mums reading, these cinematic gems might be just the tonic to go with your choccies and wine

Roma 

Roma opens with a driveway being mopped by a maid in a scene that is so beautifully shot for the viewer, some might feel it’s an allegory to motherhood itself. Director Alfonso Cuarón also wrote the film inspired by his memories of the women who raised him in Mexico City which is where the film was shot. 

"Roma is visually pleasing and mixing art with realism worked really well here"

The story centres on the maid Cleo who works and lives with a middle-class family in 1970s Mexico City. Cleo faces an uncertain future as a pregnant mother and needs support but will she find it? 

Roma is visually pleasing and mixing art with realism worked really well here. Cleo is played by Yalitza Aparicio who incredibly had just finished training to become a teacher in real life and had never acted before. Her tremendous performance resulted in an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, which is reminiscent of Barkhad Abdi who was nominated for an Oscar for his first ever acting role in Captain Phillips a few years earlier.

Philomena 

This is based on the true story of Philomena Lee (played by Judi Dench), an Irish woman whose son was taken away from her and sent to America while she was forced to live in a Catholic convent in the 1950s. Half a century later, her daughter enlists the help of journalist Martin Sixsmith (portrayed by Steve Coogan who also co-wrote the screenplay) to aid Philomena in her search to find out what became of him. Sixsmith wrote the book from which the film is adapted. 

This is a pleasant watch and Judi Dench offers a measured look at the strength of a mother’s need to know what happened to her son.  

Room 

Brie Larson won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance as a young woman who is kidnapped and held in a tiny shed for seven years, during which time she gives birth. Raising her son in a tiny confined space secluded from the outside world is obviously far from ideal but Larson’s character Joy manages to utilize the endless reaches of human imagination to create a tailor-made universe just for her little boy who has never come into contact with the outside world. 

"Brie Larson won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance"

In order to attempt to get in the mind of her character, Larson prepared for the role by locking herself away in her home for a month (this was pre-Covid) and wrote backstory details for the character. The limitations of the shed in Room arguably acted as a driving force for Joy and her boy Jake to mentally go beyond the physical barriers surrounding them. 

Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, its critical respect is a reflection of the film’s inventive spirit and it deserves to be better known. Emma Donoghue wrote the screenplay for Room, adapting it from her own book of the same name. 

Lion 

In a list of quality offerings, this is arguably the very best of the bunch. In 1986, a young boy named Saroo disappeared at a train station in India and a remarkable chain of events led to him ending up in Australia.

Twenty-five years later as an adult, Saroo (Dev Patel) has had the good fortune to have been brought up by an Australian couple but he starts to wonder what happened to his original family that he still loves. How would he ever find them if he’s not even sure whereabouts in India he was from? 

It’s based on an astonishing true story and if you have a soul, this film will move you. This is for all the mums out there who have loved and lost a child and wished they would return. It is quite simply a brilliant and inspirational film. 

Wild 

Another film based on true events, Wild sees Reese Witherspoon play Cheryl Strayed who hikes more than a thousand miles along America’s Pacific Crest Trail in an attempt to deal with the grief that engulfed her following the death of her mother.  

"It’s also a testament to one daughter’s love for her mother"

It’s certainly an adventurous tale about a woman using the great outdoors to challenge herself and shift the trajectory of her life but it’s also a testament to one daughter’s love for her mother.  

Even if you’re not a mum, these films are well worth your consideration. A happy Mother’s Day to all who celebrate it! 

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