A female lead is always empowering and eye-catching addition to movies. To represent this woman as a mother is also another way to capture people’s attention. In general, mothers are compassionate and driven, especially when it comes to protecting their children. But you won’t just find the average mother on this list, as some of them could be murderous to even deranged. But one thing is for sure, these are characters that have been instilled in audience’s minds the moment they appeared on screen.
ExploreTalent has compiled the most iconic mothers in film history, and while they are not set in a definitive order, you will find the reason they are so compelling:
1. Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side (2009)
The heartwarming movie that was The Blind Side told the true to life story of professional NFL player Michael Oher. It features the soft-spoken young man, who grew up in a rough neighborhood and was saved by feisty but warmhearted Leigh Anne Tuohy. Now Tuohy is from a wealthy Tennessee family, and together with her husband, Sean, they own a couple of fast-food chains in their local town. She ultimately brings Oher into family despite many people around their circle judging her decision to raise a full-grown teenager.
Sandra Bullock‘s honest portrayal earned her numerous accolades and the film itself received an Academy Award nomination.
2. Mia Farrow as Rosemary Woodhouse in Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Rosemary’s Baby is a psychological horror film that follows the titular character as she discovers that the father of the baby she is carrying is actually the devil himself. Its well-crafted scenes and memorable story line made it one of the best horror films of all time.
Every character in the movie seems to be intriguing, but it is Rosemary that gives out the biggest surprise of them all. She becomes a subject of demonic behavior, and just when you are about to decide on how stereotypical this movie is, the ending will prove to be as sinister as the whole theme.
3. Holly Hunter as Elastigirl/Helen Parr in The Incredibles (2004)
Helen Parr, or better known as her alter-ego Elastigirl, is the most iconic mother in the field of animated films. No one has so gracefully portrayed what if feels like to be housewife taking care of an adolescent and a little baby at the same as she has. When her husband, the ever powerful Mr. Incredible, disappears all of a sudden, it is up to Elastigirl to take the center stage.
There is an added baggage on her end when her children enter the equation, and now she has to save her husband and keep her children safe at the same time. This movie is a perfect one to watch with the family, and it displays a ton of girl power.
4. Essie Davis as Amelia Vanek in The Babadook (2014)
How far will a mother go just to protect her son from an unspeakable evil? The Babadook explores just that. The movie opens with widowed Amelia’s strained relationship with her troubled son, then comes an unseen force that toys with the family.
The movie is said to explore the theme of grief more than just a simple good-versus-evil story line, which is why it has been so memorable for audiences everywhere. Actress Essie Davis portrays the grieving mother perfectly, it is easy to see why everyone wanted her to come out triumphant in the end.
5. Piper Laurie as Margaret White in Carrie (1976)
So maybe not all mothers are naturally caring, some are borderline insane and abusive. Piper Laurie (replaced by Julianne Moore in the 2013 remake) portrayed the vile mother to the emotionally disturbed Carrie so well, it was almost impossible not to hate her for it. But this just adds to how much the character Margaret White has been so remembered throughout the many remakes of the film.
There are numerous mothers in films that have been well received by audiences, so the ones on this list are not the only ones. Other honorable mentions include Uma Thurman‘s The Bride in the Kill Bill movies and the unconventional heroine Furiousa (played by Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road), who may have not been a mother to children by blood but is memorable all the same.