Sunday is Mother’s Day. If you haven’t bought a gift for her yet, here are some Academy Award-nominated movies featuring some unforgettable moms.
“Chocolat” (2000) – A woman (Juliette Binoche) and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community.
“The Blind Side” (2009) – The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All-American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman (Sandra Bullock) and her family.
“Erin Brockovich” (2000) – An unemployed single mom (Julia Roberts) becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply.
“I Remember Mama” (1948) – The life of a Norwegian immigrant family in 1910 San Francisco centers around Mama (Irene Dunn) and her detailed, pennywise household budget.
“The Sound of Music” (1965) – Maria (Julie Andrews) leaves – OK, gets kicked out of – her post at an Austrian convent to become the governess and eventual stepmother to seven mischievous kids of a strict Naval officer widower.
“Gypsy” (1962) – Based on the Broadway hit about the life and times of burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee and her aggressive stage mother, Mama Rose (Rosalind Russell).
“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” (1974) – A recently widowed woman (Ellen Burstyn) on the road with her precocious young son is determined to make a new life for herself as a singer.
The mother in my featured film is a mom’s mom, a woman who can lovingly nurture her family through World War II and who is strong enough to take on a Nazi pilot who parachutes into her yard.
MOVIE: “Mrs. Miniver” (1942)
ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS (WON): Best Picture, Best Actress (Greer Garson), Best Director (William Wyler), Best Supporting Actress (Teresa Wright), Best Cinematography (Black and White) and Best Writing (Screenplay). OTHER NOMINATIONS: Best Actor (Walter Pidgeon), Best Supporting Actor (Henry Travers), Best Supporting Actress (Dame May Whitty), Best Effects (Special Effects), Best Film Editing and Best Sound (Recording).
STORYLINE: Greer Garson is Mrs. Miniver, the matriarch of a middle-class English family experiencing life in the first months of World War II.
NOTES: Through the film’s portrayal of the hardships suffered and overcome by a middle-class English family during the Blitz, Americans came to sympathize with the English, and support for American involvement in the European war rose dramatically.
TRIVIA: “Mrs. Miniver” was the second of eight movies that paired Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon. The list includes the Academy Award-nominated “Blossoms in the Dust” (1941), “Madame Curie” (1943) and “Mrs. Parkington” (1944) … Henry Travers (Clarence the angel in “It’s a Wonderful Life”) also appeared with Garson in “Madame Curie” … Garson’s Best Actress acceptance speech lasted five and a half minutes. A 45-second time limit was later imposed.