Films about Mothers and Daughters
March 15, 2008 10:03 PM   Subscribe

Mothers and daughters and the films about them - can you name some?

I'm trying to come up with a list of films that deal with motherhood, mothers and daughters, conflict and reconciliation and what have you. Specifically I'm after films about older mothers and grown up daughters, not stuff like Stepmom or Freaky Friday. Can you help?
posted by mooza to Media & Arts (45 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Joy Luck Club
posted by clh at 10:05 PM on March 15, 2008

Terms of Endearment
posted by clh at 10:06 PM on March 15, 2008

Secrets & Lies by Mike Leigh
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 10:08 PM on March 15, 2008

Steel Magnolias
posted by junkbox at 10:10 PM on March 15, 2008

Seconding Terms of Endearment and Steel Magnolias.
posted by amyms at 10:16 PM on March 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Mommie Dearest
Anywhere but Here
Imitation of Life
Freaky Friday
posted by HotPatatta at 10:21 PM on March 15, 2008

Lovely and Amazing.
posted by prex at 10:23 PM on March 15, 2008

Oops..I somehow missed reading the part of your post asking for older daughters.

Imitation of Life follows two mother-daughter duos from childhood through early adulthood. A really excellent dramatic movie. The original with Claudette Colbert is the best.

Because I Said So is a recent Diane Keaton movie. A comedy. Three dauthers, I think.

Another Diane Keaton movie, The Other Sister, is about a mother's relationship with her 20-something daughter who is mentally retarded.

One True Thing with Renee Zellwegger and Meryl Streep
posted by HotPatatta at 10:28 PM on March 15, 2008

The Turning Point: When her daughter joins a ballet company, a former dancer is forced to confront her long-ago decision to give up the stage to have a family. Shirley MacLaine! Anne Bancroft!
posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:31 PM on March 15, 2008

posted by HotPatatta at 10:32 PM on March 15, 2008

You may claw your eyes out, but "Georgia Rule" fits the bill.
posted by Frank Grimes at 10:35 PM on March 15, 2008

Daughters of the Dust, while not strictly (or solely) mother/daughter, would probably fit the bill quite well.
posted by metabrilliant at 10:39 PM on March 15, 2008

Rosemary Rogers published a book titled "101 Mother-Daughter Movies: 101 Films to See Together." Check out the table of contents (listing all 101 film titles) using Amazon's look inside feature.
posted by plokent at 10:44 PM on March 15, 2008

posted by bread-eater at 10:48 PM on March 15, 2008

Borderline - just saw it and it's fantastic.
posted by loiseau at 10:49 PM on March 15, 2008

Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood
posted by Ugh at 11:20 PM on March 15, 2008

The Makioka Sisters
posted by KokuRyu at 11:54 PM on March 15, 2008

Hate to be the one to say it, but umm, Stepmom.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:33 AM on March 16, 2008

Stella Dallas (1937) Barbara Stanwyck
Mildred Pierce (1945) Joan Crawford
+1 Postcards from the Edge (1990) Shirley MacLaine, Meryl Streep
+1 Secrets and Lies
Autumn Sonata (1978) Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullman
posted by doncoyote at 12:34 AM on March 16, 2008

Joy Luck Club?
posted by Addlepated at 12:45 AM on March 16, 2008

Rosemary's Baby
posted by doctor_negative at 1:13 AM on March 16, 2008

posted by platinum at 1:48 AM on March 16, 2008

House of Sand. The actresses playing mother and daughter swap places as the movie progresses through time and the characters they portray have, at times, difficult relationships.
posted by loosemouth at 2:01 AM on March 16, 2008

Little Voice
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:08 AM on March 16, 2008

Pieces of April (2003, starring Katie Holmes)
posted by madforplaid at 2:30 AM on March 16, 2008

Thanks very much everyone! Any more films would be great, but thank you for such quick responses!
posted by mooza at 3:37 AM on March 16, 2008

Autumn Sonata is focussed specifically on a mother daughter relationship and it's also a really good film, highly recommended.
posted by fire&wings at 4:08 AM on March 16, 2008

A Bug's Life has a sub plot involving the hand-off of power from the aged Ant Queen to the young but adult Princess Atta.
posted by Scoo at 4:59 AM on March 16, 2008

Saving Face
posted by cazoo at 7:06 AM on March 16, 2008

Pan's Labyrinth!
posted by nonmerci at 9:06 AM on March 16, 2008

Life is Sweet (Mike Leigh, may be tricky to find on dvd in USA...worth tracking down on VHS if you have a player.)

Unpretentious, funny--and anything but sugarcoated. A realistic family "dramedy" featuring ordinary, non-glamorous characters--including a strong and loving middle-aged mother dealing with her two 20-something daughters, one of whom is on the verge of a breakdown. Culminates on a quiet afternoon with a warm and hopeful ending that won't make you want to puke.
posted by applemeat at 9:34 AM on March 16, 2008

The Winter Guest. As a bonus, the mother and daughter are played by real-life mother and daughter Phyllida Law and Emma Thompson.
posted by Orinda at 10:56 AM on March 16, 2008

posted by lunit at 12:03 PM on March 16, 2008

HotPatatta mentioned Imitation of Life, which I'd second. I haven't seen the John Stahl version s/he recommends, but I've heard good things about it. However, I'd urge you to also see Douglas Sirk's 1959 version. It's a pretty remarkable film.

Sirk's equally amazing All That Heaven Allows also might fill your criteria.
posted by bubukaba at 12:21 PM on March 16, 2008

+1 The Winter Guest.
posted by junkbox at 12:31 PM on March 16, 2008

Someone mentioned Almodovar's Volver, which is made of win. If you can find it, High Heels is also excellent, but it's kind of more melodramatically ridiculous than a lot of the others mentioned here (it explicity references Autumn Sonata
I'd definitely second the classic maternal melodramas: Mildred Pierce, Stella Dallas, Imitation of Life. All That Heaven Allows is amazing, but the mother-daughter angle is fairly minor in it.

Oh, and Now, Voyager.

And Georgia Rule was actually pretty good, if you can get past the Lohanness: it's got Felicity Huffman and Jane Fonda.
posted by SoftRain at 12:44 PM on March 16, 2008

I saw "Two Women" (1960) at the movie theater when I was a lad. Directed by de Sica, and starred Loren (the object of my ardor). It's about a mother and daughter trying to stay safe during the bombing in Italy toward end of WWII. It will blast your tears out. (Orig. title "La Ciociara"). Also, my daughter begged me several years ago to watch "Crooklyn" by Spike Lee. I had grown negative about Lee and put it off, thinking it was a paean to some supposed beautiful essence behind ghetto grotesqueness. But when I saw it I cried for a long time. It is a great rendering of the pathos of a black Brooklyn family and the agonies of cultural dystopia, growing up, and mother-daughter values. Please see it.
(NB: probably its title put me off at first: I suspected that whitey was going to be stomped on because whitey is assuredly a crook because he owns things. In fact, the film has nothing to say about hating whitey for being "crooks". So I believe that the film is mis-titled.)
posted by yazi at 1:18 PM on March 16, 2008

I know you're looking for older, but I think these are interesting mother-daughter movies -- so I am going to mention them (plus the women playing the mothers give amazing performances (Barbara Hershey and Juliane Köhler): A World Apart and Nowhere in Africa.

Also seconding "Volver." Maybe just because it's such a great film but also because there's so much family, mother/daughter stuff going on.
posted by nnk at 1:22 PM on March 16, 2008

The Insect Woman
posted by Tixylix at 3:36 PM on March 16, 2008

Man...can't believe no one's mentioned American Beauty or Million Dollar Baby. Almost Famous too, and to a lesser extent Kill Bill (well, more the second movie) and Aliens. That's pretty much the "essential viewing" for that criteria.
posted by AdamOddo at 4:33 PM on March 16, 2008

La Tête de maman might work for you, though the daughter is a teen, and it has a decidedly non-Hollywood subject matter.
posted by scruss at 4:54 PM on March 16, 2008

White Oleander chronicles the life of a girl from the ages of 12-18 living in foster homes after her mother was sent to prison. A lot of it is about how the daughter struggled to accept her mother's selfishness, which is what got her into the foster care situation - the mother killed an ex-lover. Excellent book; pretty damn good adaption to film.
posted by 8dot3 at 6:09 AM on March 17, 2008

Antonia, aka Antonia's Line. PLUS YOU GET bonus generations.
posted by tangerine at 2:52 PM on March 17, 2008

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