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“Mothering Sunday”: The 12 best mothers on TV and film

“Mothering Sunday”: The 12 best mothers on TV and film

Today we celebrate “Mother’s Day”, or “Mothering Sunday” in the UK and Ireland. It’s a special date to show love, gratitude and appreciation to all wonderful mums. Mothering Sunday has been celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent, in the UK and Ireland, since  Middle Ages. The date varies in other parts of the world. Many countries follow the US and celebrate “Mother’s Day” on the second Sunday in May, whilst other countries enjoy the day on March 8th which is “International Women’s Day”.

To homage mothers around the world Audiovisual Maniac Club made a list of the 12 most adorable and unforgettable fictional mothers. Check it out below:

Donna Sheridan / “Mamma Mia!”

Donna (Meryl Streep) is shown to be an honest, hard-working woman, managing the Villa Donna by herself and being a single-mother to Sophie Sheridan. Donna is a free-spirit and something of a “flower-child”, growing up during the ”70s. Despite this fun-loving, often reckless side to her, Donna’s responsibilities and past experiences have forced her to become wiser, stronger but often sacrificing her own happiness and luxuries for the survival of the Villa Donna and her daughter.

Donna is a good mother, having raised Sophie to be a kind, happy and independent person. Donna is also a good friend and generous woman. In her youth, Donna’s sunny, reckless and passionate side have yet to be bellied by her future responsibilities. Donna is hopeful, intelligent, romantic and has a zest for life. Donna also has a dream to travel the world. However, Donna is far from innocent – she is independent, courageous and knows what she wants from life.

Morticia Addams / “The Addams Family”

Morticia is the wife of Gomez Addams, and the mother of Wednesday, Pugsley, Wednesday Jr., Pugsley Jr. and Pubert. Morticia is the voice of reason and the queen of zen, even when things get a little chaotic in her home. Her ability to find beauty in thunderstorms (literal and metaphorical) and other things normally perceived to be dark while exhibiting a relentless optimism about life is admirable and inspirational. She’s valuable and interesting outside of her mom and wife roles and has imperfect moments that root her in reality. 

Her excellence is also exhibited via her unconventional yet supportive and smart parenting style. Yeah, she allows Wednesday and Pugsley to raise poisonous spiders and play with guillotines, but she also listens to them, values their feelings, and encourages their autonomy. She will quickly jump into action in their best interests, whether it involves hiring a psychologist or advocating for changes at their school. When Pugsley joined the Boy Scouts — which was their equivalent of him joining a wayward gang — she was concerned but she gave him the space to explore things on his own terms. He was her “unconventional” child who sometimes wanted to be like everyone else and Morticia didn’t try to force him fit perfectly into their family dynamic. She was generally patient, kind, and respectful towards her children and encouraged them to stay true to themselves even when it goes against the grain.

Marge Simpson  / “The Simpsons” 

Marge is the moralistic force in her family and often provides a grounding voice amid her family’s antics by trying to maintain order in the Simpson household. Aside from her duties at home, Marge has flirted briefly with several careers ranging from a police officer to an anti-violence activist.

Marge is the mother Simpson family, who spends most of her time doing housework, caring for Maggie, being supportive of and indulging Lisa, and either disciplining or protecting Bart from Homer’s wrath. Marge is the only member of the family who encourages church attendance. She also appears to have a significant athletic ability. She is bilingual, being fully fluent in French. Her marriage to Homer is also very strong. They once spurned to participate in a key party as soon as they realized what a key party was and promptly left, although Homer also took the key jar with them, most likely to find his car keys.

Michaela Odone / “Lorenzo’s Oil”

In the movie “Lorenzo’s Oil”, this impressive true story brings one of the most touching cases of a mother’s devotion to her son (from the father too, let’s be fair!). After all, Michaela (Susan Sarandon) and her husband begin to dedicate their lives to researching ALD, a rare disease that causes brain degeneration, in a desperate attempt to prolong the child’s life. For the role, Susan Sarandon was nominated for an Oscar for best actress.

Sarah Connor / “The Terminator”

This is another mother who does everything for her son, John Connor, but for even greater reasons than simply protecting him: In ” The Terminator”, Sarah knows that if he will become the leader of human resistance in the battle against machines, that will occur in the future. The character has already won three different personifications, two in the cinema, played by Linda Hamilton and Emilia Clarke, and another in the TV series “The Sarah Connor Chronicles”, by Lena Headey.

Molly Weasley / “Harry Potter”

She is the typical big mom, one of those who do everything for her seven children – all gingers! – including facing Lord Voldemort and his allies. Molly Weasley (Julie Walters) is one of the picturesque and beloved characters created by J.K.Rowling for the “Harry Potter” saga. 

Rochelle / “Everybody Hates Chris”

The character played by actress Tichina Arnold is an example of several mothers in one. Rochelle Rock is multitasking and self-sufficient, taking care of the house alone and often of the children, because her husband, as she likes to remember, has two jobs. In the show “Everybody Hates Chris”, she is the example of an independent and ambitious woman, always wanting the best for her and her family. 

Mrs Gump / “Forrest Gump”

When Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) begins to tell the long adventure that is his life to an unknown woman, we soon realise how remarkable the teachings of his mother Mrs. Gump (Sally Field) are. In addition to affection, he repeats the phrase he learned from her and carried on forever as “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you will find”.

Forrest Gump is one of the most remarkable characters in the history of cinema and he owes a lot of that to his mother. Mrs. Gump gave up everything to give the best to her son, even using not very “conventional” means to keep him in school. She also plays a key role in encouraging little Forrest to trace his own destiny and not be limited by his difficulties, an example of a mother.

Olivia / “Boyhood”

Another Oscar winner, Patrícia Arquette brought Olivia to life in “Boyhood”. The magic of this film is that it seems to be something totally common, and the character Olivia does not shy away from that, she is a mother with all her qualities and defects. Okay, not just a “normal” mother, she’s admirable for all her efforts to raise children without a father.

Catelyn Stark / “The Game of Thrones”

One of Catelyn’s main characteristics is that, like the mothers we saw up here, she is super attached to her children and very protective. Only the strength of this wonderful woman goes further, as Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) has a generous and gentle heart, a very strong sense of duty and an admirable political influence. She is also very proud, but, throughout the series, we understand her motives and we are still inspired by her bravery!

Lorelai Gilmore / “Gilmore Girls”

To think of maternal representation on TV is to remember Lorelai Gilmore, the role of actress Lauren Graham in “Gilmore Girls”. The character is an example of a cool mother and companion. Upon becoming a mother at the age of 16, she became very independent, human and developed a close relationship with her daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel). The series showed that mother and daughter can be partners, friends and loyal.

Joyce Byers | Stranger Things

And we ended our list with Joyce (Winona Ryder) from “Stranger Things”, another woman worthy of being honoured here. At the beginning of the series, we realized that she works hard and, as the plot unfolds, we see how far she is able to go to educate and protect her children. Divorced and without any support from her ex-husband, she sets out to find her missing son practically alone and faces fearless hidden forces. Persistent and courageous, she doesn’t give up and does everything to get Will back! 

What other mother of fiction do you think could join a next list? Tell us in the comments!

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I am a script and creative writer, journalist, producer, and marketing content developer with over 9 years of experience in Media (TV / Film Production), Communication, Journalism and Marketing. I worked for companies such as MTV, Animal Planet, Band, Discovery and, Fremantle Media. I am from Brazil, but I've been living in Dublin, Ireland, since 2017. I am also maniac for entertainment and pop culture.
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