HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY EVERYONE! I’m sure everybody thinks their mom is THE “Greatest Mom in the World” but today, all our lovely mother’s can share that title. And in honour of Mother’s Day, I’ve come up with a list of who I think are 10 Most Badass Movie Moms of All Time. Just a short disclaimer, this post main contain a lot of spoilers. Also, I’m looking at the word “mom” in the least strictest sense of the word possible. Just read it, I’ll explain my choices.
10. Ellen Burstyn as Chris O’Neil in “The Exorcist” (1973)
A very obvious choice for my number ten spot would be the heartbroken actress Chris O’Neil, portrayed by Ellen Burstyn in the classic William Friedkin horror movie. As O’Neil’s daughter’s “condition” (obviously possession by some sort of demon), as an audience we go through it with O’Neil’s never ending passion and concern for her daughter’s wellbeing. Though she can’t do anything about it until “the doctor” (the exorcist) comes into the picture, Burstyn’s character represents all our moms who are by our side when we’re sick…except we’re not puking out green slime. That’s a bonus for Chris O’Neil’s badass points.
9. Robin Williams as Daniel Hillard / Mrs. Doubtfire in “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993)
Robbin WIlliams’ character isn’t exactly a mom. Hell, she isn’t exactly a girl either. But the reason why I included Williams’ Daniel Hillard and Mrs. Doubtfire is because the character represents those parents who act as both mother and father in the family unit. And trust me, there are thousands of these kind of families worldwide. Though Sally Field plays William’s ex-wife, Daniel transforms himself as Mrs. Doubtfire to be able to improve himself as a parents and as an actor. Those who didn’t find this family movie not charming…has no heart. William’s acting isn’t Oscar worthy, but it sure was bad-ass.
8. Rosalind Russell as Auntie Mame in “Auntie Mame” (1958)
“Auntie Mame” lays as one of the most underrated comedies of the 1950s. Russell’s performance is incredibly overlooked. Though Auntie Mame isn’t a biological mother, her story is as moving as any mother’s can be. When her brother dies in an unexpected accident, she must now take care of her little nephew as his life changes immediately. Mame is also incredible eccentric and must change her ways to support the young man. When the Great Depression arises, Auntie Mame must now do anything it takes for money just so she can keep a child that isn’t even hers. A touching film that explores more then 20 years of Auntie Mame and her nephews relationship, this 1958 comedy is a must watch on Mother’s Day.
7. Susan Sarandon as Jackie Harrison in “Stepmom” (1998)
I decided to kill three birds with one stone in this one. A shout out to Julia Robert’s stepmom Isabel Kelly who has many redeeming qualities in the movie. And another shout out to another Susan Sarandon performance in the flick “Lorenzo’s Oil” (1992) where she plays a mother who finds a cure for her child with a fatal diseases. However, I choose to include only one Sarandon performance and that is found in Jackie Harrison. When Jackie discovers she has cancer, she must pass on the torch to her ex-husband’s new girlfriend (played by Roberts) before she dies. Sarandon’s character is strong, even though she’s the one who is sick, she makes sure her family is strong and comfortable even when she’s gone. That’s admirable…and badass.
6. Julie Andrews as Maria von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” (1965)
If you haven’t already seen Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic Best Picture winning musical “The Sound of Music” then you’re missing out. To summarise the motherly side of it all, Julie Andrews’ plays nun Maria who is then asked by her Mother Superior to become the governess of Captain Von Trapp’s (Christopher Plummer) children. She eventually becomes their mother as she introduces fun and music back into their lonely household. Though she’s a stepmom, Maria’s love for them (even as the governess) is shown all throughout the lengthy movie. Maria realised that her calling isn’t a nun but to be the mother and repair woman of this broken family. She’s one in a million!
5. Sandra Bullock as Leigh Ann Touhy in “The Blind Side” (2009)
“The Blind Side” tells the story of the wealthy Touhy family (headed by Sandra Bullock in her Academy Award winning role) as they adopt a less fortunate African American teenager and hone his skills to become a professional football player. Though the synopsis sounds a little shallow in terms of motherhood (they were invested for not having the teenager’s real interests in mind), the family does it out of love. This all comes from the inspiration of their mother, Leigh Ann, who sees her new son as nothing but a lost soul and poor kid. Bullock brings Leigh Ann to life in this real life story. She also makes movie gold.
4. Sally Field as Mrs. Gump in “Forrest Gump” (1994)
Arguably, Mrs. Gump (excluding Jenny) inspires everything that Forrest starts. As the film starts with Forrest (Tom Hanks) quoting his mother’s very famous and overused line “Life is like a box of chocolate, you’l never know what you’re gonna get”, we are brought into the world of the remarkable Forrest Gump and how he lived through the great times of American history. Though we go through a whole lot of entertainment and touching moments in the film, we never forget that it all started with Mrs. Gump giving her son the most valuable advise about life. What are mothers for anyway? Someone to always be there when we need them.
3. Julianne Moore as Laura Brown in “The Hours” (2002)
Though Moore isn’t the only mom featured in Stephen Daldry’s masterpiece, she is definitely the most admirable in the ensemble of strong characters. Living as a closet lesbian with an very unhappy marriage in the 1950s, Laura Brown makes many sacrifices for her little boy. Though this is probably a big spoiler for those who haven’t seen the movie, Brown contemplates to commit suicide but doesn’t push through it just so she can be there for her son as he grows up. These big sacrifices our mother’s do for us are something many of us don’t realise. Moore portrays this lost woman in an Academy Award nominated performance. For all that it’s worth, I find sacrifice very bad-ass. Appreciate your mothers, people.
2. Uma Thurman as The Bride in “Kill Bill. Vol. 1” (2003)
As a character Uma Thurman’s The Bride in the Quentin Tarentino cult classic is already the epitome of bad-ass. But when you look at the bigger picture, Thurman is just a mother who wants to avenge the death of her husband and daughter. Though she gets her daughter back at the end of the movie, Thurman is still a bad-ass mother. When you kill hundreds of men to reach a goal (especially if it’s in honour of your child) then there’s nothing more to say but…that’s badass. Period.
1. Shirley MacLaine as Aurora Greenway in “Terms of Endearment” (1983)
This is actually very arguable by many film fans in why Shirley MacLaine as Aurora Greenway should be considered the most bad-ass movie mom of all time. But I have reason. FOR ME (note it’s in all caps) Aurora is everything a mother should be. She is beautiful in my eyes, she is strict but also very cool, she’s clingy, she is caring in times of need, she is complex, she’s there for her grandchildren, she shares her feelings. The list runs on. It may be a simple choice in the “bad-ass” department but I can’t help but say I support this choice all the way. MacLaine’s performance was also very heartbreaking and wonderful. Nothing beats her here, she is in her zone. I wouldn’t replace my mother for anything in the world, but Aurora runs a close second.