The coolest and most inspiring mother figures in film

From Harry Potter’s Molly Weasley to The Sound of Music’s Maria von Trapp. 

There’s no love like a mother’s love: comforting, nurturing, selfless, unconditional. She’s the first person we run to when it comes to matters of the heart, and the last person to stop cheering when everyone else has forgotten what you’ve accomplished.

As art imitates life, film moms are no different. We’re not just referring to biological human mothers, but mother figures in all forms. After all, the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb – and caring for one who’s not your own flesh is equally testing, if not more so.

With Mother’s Day around the corner, we looked back on some of the coolest and most inspiring moms in film. Here’s an idea: why not catch some of these movies with mama dearest on her special day? 

Molly Weasley, Harry Potter

While it was Lily Potter’s love and sacrifice that ultimately saved Harry’s life and thus, formed the foundation of the entire series, he wouldn’t have gotten very far if it wasn’t for his best friend’s mother. Molly Weasley was there for him from the start of his Hogwarts journey at Platform 9¾ quarters, fiercely protective of The Boy Who Lived as much as her own seven children. And when words failed the orphan after witnessing the murder of Cedric Diggory in the Goblet of Fire and after the confrontation against Lord Voldemort at the end of Deathly Hallows, it was Mrs Weasley who offered what only moms can: a hug worth a thousand words in the silence.

Leigh Anne Touhy, The Blind Side

Based on a true story adapted from the 2006 book “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game”, Leigh Ann Touhy is an interior designer and businesswoman who becomes the adoptive mother of Michael Omar upon learning of his impoverished lifestyle with his drug-addicted mom. Despite having three children, she cares for Michael as her own – welcoming him into their home, hiring a private tutor to help with his grades and paving the way for his American football career. Thanks largely to her support and encouragement, he is later drafted as an offensive lineman by NFL’s Baltimore Ravens.

Frigga, Thor

Between the former ruler of Norse gods (Odin), the god of thunder (Thor) and the god of deception (Loki), Frigga’s role as Queen of Asgard is often overlooked. Yet, the goddess of marriage was as instrumental in protecting the Asgardians as in keeping the peace between her sons (biological or not). Let’s not forget that she saved both Odin and Loki from casualty – the former when Loki deceptively led the Frost Giants into Asgard to kill his adoptive father, and the latter from execution by Odin for committing said treason. She later also sacrificed her life at the hands of Malekith to protect Jane Foster during the attack by the Dark Elves, which in turn, made Loki reconsider his allegiances to avenge her death.

Related: Catchup: Who’s gone and who’s left in Avengers: Endgame

Mrs Gump, Forrest Gump

Being a single mother sounds tough enough as it is; we can’t even imagine what it’s like being a single mother to a physically and mentally challenged child. That’s Forrest Gump’s mother for you. Fiercely optimistic and determined to prove her son can be as good as everyone else, she even goes as far as sleeping with the principle (questionable as this may be) to ensure he gets into public school. Among many prolific life advices, her insistence on his endorsement of a brand of ping-pong paddles earned him a $25,000 fortune. If there’s one thing we’ll never forget from Mrs Gump, it’s this: “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”

Maria von Trapp, The Sound of Music

Who can forget the 1965 film The Sound of Music, where a young Austrian postulant by the name of Maria von Trapp (played by Julie Andrews) is sent to the villa of a retired naval officer to be governess to his seven children? There, she instilled in them – and the rest of us – a love for music and the mountains with tunes like “Do Re Mi”, “My Favourite Things” and, of course, “The Sound of Music”. Musical talent aside, she showed patience, kindness and love to the children despite their initial misdemeanours, ultimately winning them and their father over.

Sarah Connor, The Terminator series

It’s no easy feat being the mother of John Connor, who is destined to become the leader of the human resistance – much less when you’re a single mom who waits on tables for a living. But Sarah Connor is a heroine in her own right, transforming from innocent girl-next-door to a warrior mom who survived assault and incarceration in an asylum and stuck it to the Terminator himself. Although the film’s multi-verse has presented varying versions of the character, one thing is common: no one, human or robot, messes with John Connor without going through Sarah.

Joy Newsome, Room

There’s a good reason why the role of Joy Newsome in the 2015 independent film, Room, won Brie Larson an Oscar award. The crime thriller portrays her as a young woman who is kidnapped by a man known as “Old Nick”. He routinely rapes her and caused their child, Jack, to be born in captivity. Joy and Jack are forced to live in a shed they call the “Room”, sharing a bed, toilet and bathtub with only a skylight for a window. Whilst struggling with her own trauma, she devises their escape and succeeds – only to battle anxiety and depression over her son’s dissociation with the real world. Things finally look up by the end of the film, with Brie describing it as “a story of love and freedom and perseverance and what it feels like to grow up and become your own person”.

Kala, Tarzan

One of our favourite moms in all of Disney universe has got to be Kala, Tarzan’s gorilla mom. Though she admits that he can never replace her dead son – who, along with Tarzan’s parents, was killed by the leopard Sabor – Kala saved him from the claws of the savage predator and took him in when he was just an orphan baby. She even stood up against her mate and leader of the gorilla band, Kerchak, when he refused to accept Tarzan because of the ape’s history with mankind, as well as the rest of the pack when they turned their back on him for letting humans into their territory. She stayed by Tarzan’s side through thick and thin, giving her blessing when he fell in love with Jane towards the end of the film.

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