Last weekend, I watched the Academy Awards from the family room couch, swaddled in a Snuggie. I spent the evening criticizing beautiful, talented women in toddler-size dresses, but I never anticipated that Anne Hathaway’s awkward “Hi, Mom!” moment would help to create this blog.
There are only two categories specifically earmarked to honor women – Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. While women may write, produce and/or direct, they aren’t heralded for their female contributions to the entire film in any other way. Therefore, I will do so by honoring the Best Mothers in the Movies:
10. Barbara Hershey – Beaches
“I don’t want Victoria to see me here.”
I hate to begin a top ten list with a hospital deathbed scene, but a mother’s greatest responsibility is to protect her child. Of course, it helps to have Bette Midler as the wind beneath your wings.
9. Diane Keaton – Father of the Bride
“Will you stop acting like a lunatic father and go out and talk to her before she runs out that door, marries this kid and we never see her again?”
What’s more complicated that a mother-daughter relationship? Being daddy’s little girl. Thankfully, Nina Banks comes to her daughter’s rescue as she attempts to wiggle loose of her father’s overprotective grip.
8. Olympia Dukakis – Moonstruck
“When you love them, they drive you crazy because they know they can.”
Nothing compares to the wisdom of an old-world mother who dishes out a healthy portion of tough love with a side of manicotti. Rose Castorini always knows when her daughter’s life is “going down the toilet.” And she tells her so.
7. Diane Keaton – Baby Boom
“And your sister’s name in Wiesbaden – in case of an emergency – and her prison record if any…”
Corporate workaholic J.C. Wiatt has no trouble hiring new graduates to work on entry-level marketing accounts, but she doesn’t possess the same confidence when searching for a nanny to care for 18-month-old Elizabeth.
6. Katharine Hepburn – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
“When she fights you, I’m going to be on her side.”
In parenting, it helps if mothers and fathers are on the same page when it comes to handing down an important decision. Yet Christina Drayton is willing to sacrifice her own marital bliss to make sure her daughter lives happily ever after.
5. Katharine Hepburn – On Golden Pond
“Don’t you think that everyone looks back on their childhood with a certain amount of bitterness and regret?”
Once again, leave it to Katharine Hepburn to be the voice of reason. Fed up with her adult daughter’s sulking, she insists that Jane Fonda’s character get on with life before it passes her by (in a motorboat).
4. Sally Field – Forrest Gump
“Remember what I told you, Forrest. You’re no different than anybody else.”
Mama always had a way of explaining things so Forrest could understand them, and she sure did care about his education! Always reassuring, Mrs. Gump challenged everyone to define “normalcy” in his or her own unique way.
3. Sally Field – Steel Magnolias
“I was there when that wonderful creature drifted into my life and I was there when she drifted out. It was the most precious moment of my life.”
No child has been blessed with a better mother. Devoted to Shelby’s special needs, M’Lynn Eatenton would have jogged all the way to Texas and back for her daughter. Luckily, she had the support of my next honoree to provide laughter through tears.
2. Shirley MacLaine – Terms of Endearment
“GIVE HER THE SHOT!”
If Ouiser Boudreaux doesn’t scare the daylights out of you, then Aurora Greenway will. MacLaine proves that even the coldest mothers have the warmest souls and the loudest voices, particularly when their child is in pain.
1. Robin Williams – Mrs. Doubtfire
“I do have one rule: they’ll only eat good, nutritious food with me. And if there’s any dispute, it’s either good, wholesome food or empty tummies.”
Yes, a cross-dressing housekeeper wins the top prize for being the most outstanding parent. Bound (literally speaking) and determined to spend time with his children after a bitter divorce, Euphegenia Doubtfire kept the home fires burning.
The ‘please wrap up your blog’ music is playing, so I will conclude my tribute by saying, “Thanks, Mom. We owe it all to you.”