The Lovingly Complicated Role of Mothers In Movies
How movies depict the complexities of maternity on screen.
The scope of motherhood in film and television starts with the prototypical 50s stay-at-home mom, epitomized by the performances of women like Donna Reed, Harriet Nelson, or Jane Wyatt. These women wear kindness behind their aprons like Superman dons tights under his briefs. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Margaret White as Piper Laurie in Carrie, the embalmed corpse as Norma Bates in Psycho, Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, or Joan Crawford playing herself in real life.
Like clockwork, every Friday the 13th a new horror movie will premiere. One would also expect that Mother’s Day would boast the same film honors as the four times per year that the sixth day of the week falls on the seventh odd day of the month. No such luck! We could do with less Freddies and more Mrs. Gumps.