As published on Sundance Channel’s SUNfiltered, Thursday May 10th 2012
Top 10 MILFs (Moms In Legendary Films)
Mother’s Day might be upon us, but no, we are not going the cheap route and talking about the MILFs you’re used to (although we do love Jennifer Coolidge in everything she does; even American Pie). This list is dedicated to a far more select—and somewhat more matronly—group, namely Moms In Legendary Films. With motherhood in unprecedented states of shameful disrepair (Octomom doing porn, anyone?), it’s high time we shake off our current malaise, get out our old blankie (or teddybear, or Pound Puppy) and get ready to cry on Mommy’s shoulder with these treats. Because the women here are pure maternal power, offering a cinematic Womb for the Soul.
10. Bree Osbourne – TRANSAMERICA
As Bree Osbourne, Felicity Huffman took on a whole lot in this acclaimed role: a road-tripping male-to-female transsexual who unwittingly discovers along the way that she has a child. From oblivious father to an ultimately caring mother, Huffman handled an extraordinary double gender reversal with aplomb, teaching us a little something about parenting at the same time—uteruses (uteri?) and vaginas aside, real mothering is all about the heart.
9. Abileen Clark – THE HELP
Viola Davis and company also do a wonderful job reminding us that the one you call mommy doesn’t always end up being she who birthed you. As a devoted maid in 1960s Mississippi, Davis cares for her inept white boss’s child as her own (and she has those back home, too). When she is unjustly fired from her job later in the film, her heartbreak over losing the baby girl who has become her de facto daughter is palpable. It’s worth noting another mother nailed by Viola, in 2008’s DOUBT. In just one scene she steals the entire film, as the mother of a 1960s choirboy who is prepared to accept the possibility of something unspeakable in order to keep her son in a place where he won’t succumb to the racism and classism she knows all too well. A mother’s love may not always be logical, but boy, it can be fierce.
8. Kate McCallister – HOME ALONE
This family fun-for-all gains double-whammy status as both a great Christmas treat and Mother’s Day movie, since the storyline pretty much boils down to this: a harried mother must wend her way through various shenanigans (as only the late John Hughes, who actually wrote this film, can concoct) to redeem the love of her abandoned son. The always-brilliant Catherine O’Hara—who gave us one of the wackiest mothers of all time in BEETLEJUICE—expertly captures a defining moment on the plane toward the beginning of the film, when she finally realizes they forgot Kevin at home. She betrays an eternal truth: even parents can screw up, and royally.
For the rest of these MILFs, check out the list on SUNfiltered’s Top 10s!
Happy Mother’s Day!