Happy UK Mother’s Day! (13 May in other countries which means I can re-use this article then; you know how we mums love hand-me-downs.)
Why is it called Mother’s Day? Well, once upon a time… ha just kidding, today we just wanted to know how to fit in supervising our little darlings cooking us breakfast without burning the house down, along with all our other tasks. Laundry won’t do itself, and nor it seems will anyone else.
But I hope you all gave yourselves the day off. Those chores will still be there tomorrow!
In the meantime these are some of my favourite Movie Mums. All complex women doing the best they can, apart from the Alien Queen who is doing the best full-stop: “It’s structural perfection is matched only by its hostility… I admire its purity”, as Ash helpfully mandroidsplained in episode 1.
1. That Badass Momma From Aliens
No not Ripley, the Alien Queen. She may be a murderous monster, but fellow mums, she’s OUR murderous monster. And you can’t fault her for going that extra mile for her babies.
You could put it down to sleep deprivation with all those newborns, though I prefer to thank evolution for her examples of extreme mothering.
And I like to think of that acid saliva as the xenomorph equivalent of me spitting on a tissue and running after my own grubby rugrats.
My review of Alien-not-Aliens
2. Kate McCallister, Home Alone
It always helps when you’re a mum to have that one person doing it worse than you, and Kevin’s mom Kate (Catherine O’Hara) perfectly fulfils that role. Organised enough to remember that 90s plum lipstick but not quite on the ball enough to make sure their youngest child makes it to Paris with the rest of the family, everyone with lots of siblings will know it’s not so far-fetched as it sounds.
Yes Mr McCallister is just as much at fault, but let’s face it it’s always us mums that cop the blame.
3. Miss Peregrine, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
Looking after a household of misfit kids with special powers, Miss Alma LeFay Peregrine (Eva Green) is particularly suited to her role as guardian in a gothic Welsh orphanage in 1943 as she’s an ymbrine, a Peculiar who can turn into a bird and protect children.
I particularly like this film as I too grew up in a big dark house, full of children, and lived life like it was the 1940s.
Alma is caring, clever, no-nonsense, resourceful and beautiful, though to be fair she has a head start in the mothering stakes as her young Peculiar charge Olive can boil a kettle for tea with her bare hands.
My review of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
4. Annella, Call Me By Your Name
Never without a cigarette or a Fiat, Annella (Amira Casar) translates German romantic poetry for her son and ruffles his hair while he snuggles up to her. The best scene in the movie, bar none. Feel free to @ me, it’ll make a change from all the Viagra spam and “corl urself a critick you cant even spel” emails (thanks, kid, no pocket money for you this week).
Everyone goes on about Elio’s dad but he’d never have had time to think up that speech without a supportive wife in the background, sorting out the household help and making sure the peach trees in the orchard were flourishing.
My review of Call Me By Your Name
5. Lady Susan Vernon, Love & Friendship
Determined to marry her teenage daughter off well, widow and anti-heroine Lady Susan’s enormous wit is only matched by her enormous hair.
Lady Susan (Kate Beckinsale) is easy to criticise but I will hear nothing against her; particularly if you are an 18th Century male aristocrat with a big house, living off an inherited ten thousand a year from a will based entirely on primogeniture.
My review of Love & Friendship
(BTW If Mother’s Day is an ordeal, please accept a giant internet-delivered hug from me as Someone Who Knows. And if you’re a mum, I bet you’re doing a million times better than you think.)