To celebrate Mother’s Day, Tribeca Shortlist has rounded up great films featuring a bevy of favorite “effed up mothers” like Anne Bancroft’s sexually predatory Mrs. Robinson and Linda Hamilton’s unstoppable Sarah Conner. See below for a full list of featured films.
MEET YOUR EFFED UP MOTHERS:
Flirting With Disaster (1996) – In a quest to find his biological parents, Mel Coplin (Ben Stiller), joined by his wife and a sexy adoption counselor, embarks on a cross country search. By the time they meet up with his free-spirited birth parents, everything is spinning hysterically out of control. Also starring Patricia Arquette, Téa Leoni, Mary Tyler Moore, George Segal, Alan Alda and Lily Tomlin. Directed by David O. Russell.
The Graduate (1967) – Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman), a recent college graduate, is seduced by the wife of his father’s business partner, Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), but will later feel her jealous wrath when he falls in love with her daughter. This groundbreaking classic was nominated for seven Academy Awards®—winning Best Director for Mike Nichols—and launched Hoffman’s career.
WATCH Recommendations: Rebecca Miller, Marc Maron
The Grifters (1990) – It’s no surprise that one of the best film noirs of the 90s should be based on a novel by Jim Thompson and directed by Stephen Frears. Small-time hustler Roy Dillon (John Cusack), has a hard time juggling the demands of his girlfriend (Annette Bening) and estranged mother Lily (Angelica Huston), especially when things go from bad-to-worse at the racetrack.
The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete (2013) – When his mother is arrested for drugs and prostitution, 14-year-old Mister (Skylan Brooks) bands together with 9-year-old runaway Pete (Ethan Dizon) to avoid violence—and child-protective services—on the sweltering streets of Brooklyn. Jennifer Hudson, Jeffrey Wright, and Jordin Sparks round out this gritty coming-of-age story directed by George Tillman Jr.
Mambo Italiano (2003) – Angelo (Luke Kirby), the son of Italian immigrants, stuns his family and Nino (Peter Miller), his best friend-turned-boyfriend, when he comes out of the closet to his parents, played by Paul Sorvino and Ginette Reno. Director Émilie Gaudreault co-wrote the script with Steve Galluccio and based the film on Galluccio’s autobiographical play.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962) – Frank Sinatra plays Marco, a decorated war hero caught up in a plot to assassinate a presidential candidate, involving an army buddy, Shaw (Laurence Harvey) along with Shaw’s remarried mother (Angela Lansbury) and her U.S. Senator husband (James Gregory). The studio thought the premise too incendiary to produce, but Sinatra got John F. Kennedy’s blessing and director John Frankenheimer went for it.
WATCH Recommendation: Griffin Dunne
The Others (2001) – Grace (Nicole Kidman), a lonely woman living with her two young children, waits for her husband to return form World War II. With the arrival of new servants, a series of ghostly occurrences unsettle the household. Writer and director Alejandro Amenábar, who broke out with Open Your Eyes, skillfully builds suspense and fear in this critically-acclaimed film.
WATCH Recommendation: Jason Blum
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) – Eleven years after the original Terminator tried and failed to kill Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton), a new shape-shifting model, the T-1000 (Robert Patrick), is sent back in time to kill her son, John (Edward Furlong), to prevent him from becoming the leader of the human resistance against the machines. Another Terminator, the revamped T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger), is sent back to protect the boy, and together they break Sarah out of an insane asylum and go on the run. Directed by James Cameron.
Date: Available on Tribeca Shortlist May 2017
The movie streaming service has also created a new, grindhouse-inspired mashup trailer in honor of these badass matriarchs.