5 Films To Watch This Mother's Day Weekend
So it turns out that Mother’s Day with a mega-cast made up of Hollywood heavyweights Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson, only succeeded in bringing in USD10 million after opening at the box office. If that is anything to go by, you’d probably best give it a pass, particularly, if that’s how you planned on celebrating Mother’s Day. Instead, August Man gives you a list of films that will do the job of celebrating your mom pretty well.
FORREST GUMP (1994)
So we all know life is like a box of chocolates, we never know what we’re going to get. But what the Gen Ys probably don’t know is that piece of advice came from the Forrest Gump’s mama. The film tells the story of Forrest (Tom Hanks), a slow-learner, who is prepared for the harsh reality of life by his mother, Mrs. Gump (Sally Field). As a result, he doesn’t really see himself as being disadvantaged and instead goes on to achieve many things, including the infamous inspiring run across the country. It is a love story as the film focuses on the relationship between Forrest and his childhood friend Jenny (Robin Wright) but your mom will love it as it hints at the fact a mother’s guidance can open up many possibilities. Forrest Gump won six Oscars including Best Director for Robert Zemeckis, Best Actor for Tom Hanks and Best Picture. It received a whopping 13 Oscar nominations, which didn’t include a nomination for Sally Field.
Trivia: Sally Field is only ten years older that Tom Hanks
MARVIN'S ROOM (1996)
So this isn’t exclusively about a mother-son relationship, but your mom’s sister is pretty close. Marvin’s Room features a stellar cast including Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton and Leonardo DiCaprio. The film revolves around two sisters, Lee (Streep) and Bessie (Keaton) who are estranged but are forced to confront their issues when Lee is asked to test as a possible bone marrow donor when Bessie, who bears the burden of looking after their bedridden father Marvin, is diagnosed with leukaemia. The prodigal daughter returns home, dragging her delinquent son Hank (DiCaprio) who only then discovers he has an aunt. The film also stars Robert DeNiro who plays Dr. Wally, the doctor tasked with informing Bessie she has cancer. The film will tug at your mother’s heart because it plays on the notion that family is family, no matter how dysfunctional. Despite featuring four Oscar winners – Keaton, Streep, De Niro and now DiCaprio, the film only received one Oscar nomination and that went to Keaton in the lead actress category.
Trivia: Sigourney Weaver, Anjelica Huston and Kathleen Turner were all considered for the role ultimately played by Diane Keaton.
WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE (1993)
Sometimes it isn’t just about sacrifices a mother makes for her child that makes for a good story but the opposite which is equally touching. Never was this truer than in the film What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Here, the story focuses on Gilbert (Johnny Depp) who has the heavy responsibility of caring for his obese mother (Darlene Cates) and his special needs brother Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio) as well as his two sisters. The theme of film isn’t just about family but speaks of the trials and tribulations that arise from living on the fringes of society – a single mother struggling to survive on low income. The final scene (no spoilers here) is particularly disturbing as it shows the lengths a child will go to protect his or her mother, reason enough to watch it with your mom. Though acknowledged as being a great film, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, directed by Lasse Halstrom, received just one Oscar nod when DiCaprio was nominated in the supporting actor category.
Trivia: Lasse Halstrom picked Johnny Depp to play Gilbert Grape because he has the ability to express emotion through his face and eyes.
They say nobody knows you better than your mother – or at least, that’s what mine keeps telling me! It this notion that the film Changeling plays on. Set in the 1920s, the film stars Angelina Jolie who plays a single mother who finds her son missing. A couple of months later the police claim that they found the lost child and reunite mother and son to great publicity. The mother is, however, certain that it is not her son but is silenced by the powers that be when she says otherwise. She is labelled as being hysterical and even faces the brunt of the law when she goes public on her gut instinct. Your mom will surely find it intriguing since it plays on the inherent connection mother and child and the lengths a mother will go through to be reunited with her child. The film, directed by Clint Eastwood, received three Oscar nominations including one for Angelina Jolie in the lead actress category.
Trivia: Both Hilary Swank and Reese Witherspoon lobbied for the role that went to Angelina Jolie
THE BLIND SIDE (2009)
You don’t have to have a biological connection to share a mother-child relationship. This is the philosophy behind The Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock. Based on a true story, the film tells the tale of a homeless teen of African American descent ‘Big Mike’ Oher (Quinton Aaron) who finds a home with Leigh Anne Tuohy (Bullock), who becomes his legal guardian. A ‘take charge’ individual, she helps him fulfil his potential not just as a football player, but as a student as well. Like Forrest Gump, your mom will love The Blind Side because it plays on the notion that despite adversities, you can achieve all that you aspire to in a supportive environment. The film received two Oscar nominations, including in the Best Picture category, but critiques state that it was really a strong performance by Bullock that gave the film its “oomph.” She received her first Oscar for her performance.
Trivia: During the first couple of weeks of shooting, Bullock thought her acting was so bad she considered dropping out.