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They can work outside the home, support the family on their own, pick fights at school to defend their young, fight with teenage daughters, perform late-night stand-ups and even control the rage of a drug cartel. It doesn’t matter, they are always there with advice, scolding, punishment and curses.
Today’s edition comes with a selection of movies and series to marathon alongside moms.
Big Little Lies
A case of bullying among schoolchildren in Monterrey, California, reveals the best, the worst and the very worst of a group of mothers who live in the area, played by Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley, all in great shape.
From the beginning, we know about the investigation of a crime at a party in the city, which may (or may not) be related to the bullying case. One of the best series in recent years, it had a not-so-good second season, but it featured Meryl Streep in the role of a bitch mother. Read Luciana Coelho’s review.
Available on HBO Max (two seasons)
This series from the early 2000s was successful on open TV with its quick and smart dialogues, which portrays young mother Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and her difficulties in managing her work and love life while taking care of her teen daughter, the straight-laced Rory ( Alexis Bledel), in a town full of eccentric characters. The series had a break of pace near the end, with a change of writers, which hampered the final part, but by then you will already be (or not) captivated by the charming Lorelai. Good suggestion to see with teenage daughter.
Sixteen years after it started, Netflix bankrolled a four-episode special, with Rory returning to town after professional difficulties. The series has the signature of Amy Sherman-Palladino, who later returned to success with “Marvellous Mrs. Maisel”.
Available on Netflix (7 seasons + 4-episode special “A Year to Remember”)
Two mothers meet in the hospital moments before giving birth, an independent woman in her 40s (Penélope Cruz, Oscar nominee for best actress) and a teenager. Both had an unplanned pregnancy, lack of support from the child’s father and end up creating a deep bond despite their differences.
The most recent drama by the Spaniard Pedro Almodóvar, who has already addressed the relationship between mothers and daughters in other features, such as “Tudo sobre Minha Mãe”, “Volver” or “Julieta”. Read the review of Sheet.
Available on Netflix (123 min.)
Wonderful Mrs. Maisel
Miriam Maisel is the perfect wife of what is expected of a perfect wife in the late 1950s: smart, beautiful, dedicated, supports her husband, manages the house, takes care of two small children and is always happy and made up in the morning.
However, her “perfect world” comes crashing down when her husband discovers he has no talent as a stand-up comic (a hobby he took seriously) and reveals that he has an affair with his secretary and is leaving home.
Depressed, Miriam returns to the stand-up house and puts on a show, discovering that she does have talent. So, Mrs. Maisel changes her routine, starts working at night, takes part in tours and shares the raising of the children with her husband, as it should always be.
A woman/mother ahead of her time, with the signature (and quick dialogues) of the same Amy Sherman-Palladino, from “Gilmore Grils”. Read Luciana Coelho’s first season review.
Available on Prime Video (4 seasons)
My Mother Is a Piece 1, 2, 3
The mothers’ holiday can be a good opportunity to review the films of the most successful franchise in Brazilian cinema, which turned Paulo Gustavo (who died in May 2021 as a result of Covid-19) into the country’s main comedian.
All the films revolve around the divorced and hyperactive mother Dona Hermínia (Gustavo), and how she is involved all the time in her children’s lives, even after they are adults – the “2” is the most fun, when she becomes a TV presenter in the best Ana Maria Braga style, and has to deal with her daughter’s move to São Paulo.
Available on Globoplay (3 movies)
To save his life, a financial adviser (Jason Bateman) vows to launder absurd amounts of money for a Mexican drug cartel in an isolated lakeside town called the Ozark.
In four seasons with some deaths on the account, some partnerships change, friendships change, enemies change, what doesn’t change is dinner time, always with a salad at the Byrde family’s house made by mom Wendy (Laura Linney), a character who at few take over the series and show that she is a mother as protective as she is destructible, but always with love. To do with Mom without discussing the relationship later. Read Luciana Coelho’s review of the final season.
Available on Netflix (4 seasons)
A remarried analyst and her teenage daughter spend much of their time fighting each other until, after arguing in a Chinese restaurant, they are cursed and have their bodies switched. Now each one must learn to behave with the other’s body, precisely on the day of her mother’s wedding rehearsal dinner and an audition with her daughter’s rock band.
Mistakes comedy with the Disney/family standard of quality. With Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan (in the good times).
Available on Disney+ (97 min.)
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If I Were My Mother
“Fresh Friday” is a remake of this 1976 film, which featured teenager Jodie Foster in the role that later went to Lindsay Lohan. The premise is the same, with the mother having to face the challenges of high school in her daughter’s body while the young woman takes on the mother’s tasks – more domestic, in the original. Foster was even approached to act in the remake as the mother, but declined the offer.
Available on Disney+ (98 min.)
The series has pedigree. Its creator, Catherine Reitman, is director Ivan’s daughter (“Ghostbusters”, “Dave – President for a Day”) and Jason’s sister (“Juno”, “Non-Stop Love”). Here, she is also one of the protagonists of the series that portrays a group of mothers who have to deal with the challenges of returning to work and recent motherhood, always filled with good jokes in episodes that are only 22 minutes, on average.
The original title “Workin’ Moms” works much better than the Brazilian translation. And the sixth season of the series premieres this Tuesday (10).
Available on Netflix (5 seasons)
This Is Us
Among the current drama series available, nothing is as similar to a soap opera as “This Is Us”, an award-winning series produced by Fox that is coming to its last episodes, now on Star+. The plot develops on two fronts, in the past, it tells how the Pearson couple raised three children, two twins and one adopted, black, going through different stages of childhood and adolescence, all filled with dramas.
In the present, the three brothers, now adults, deal with their own families and make the link between past and future. It has a problem for every taste, drug addiction, alcoholism, cancer, tragic accident, war trauma, alzheimer’s and much more. Tears guaranteed.
Available on Star+ (6 seasons)
Perhaps it is the Disney/Pixar animation that best explores the mother-daughter relationship. In the plot, the young princess Merida struggles to meet her mother’s demanding standard, who expects her to follow all the rules and etiquettes imposed by society, including an arranged marriage to strengthen the kingdom.
Thus, she meets a witch with the intention of using a spell to change her mother. What she didn’t think was that the change would be physical, and her mother had turned into a big bear. Now they need to stay together as they look for a solution. A grace. And Oscar winner in the category.
Available on Disney+ (93 min.)
Great success on Netflix, the French series “Dix Pour Cent” now gets its English version — it also has a Turkish version, on HBO Max. The plot follows a similar dynamic: after the death of the owner of an agency of famous actors, the employees discover that the company was going through financial difficulties and struggle to survive in the wild world of celebrities, often among them.
The grace of the series is the cameos of familiar faces playing their own roles. In the English version, the most famous appearance is by Helena Bonham Carter, but there is also Himesh Patel (star of “Yesterday”) and Emma Corrin (Princess Diana in recent seasons of “The Crown”), among others.
Available on Prime Video (8 episodes)
Very popular today, the “true crime” documentary genre, which focuses on a crime that was difficult to investigate or that shocked society, has been successful for some time, and one of the most famous of the genre was “A Escada”, which shows the investigation of an apparently accidental death: a woman fell down a long ladder. However, the husband, who called the police, quickly moves from witness to suspect.
The story now gains a dramatic version, staged by Colin Firth (the husband) and Toni Collette (the woman who dies at the beginning of the series and reappears in several flashbacks). The cast also includes Sophie Turner (“Game of Thrones”) and Parker Posey (“Lost in Space”).
Available on HBO Max (3 of 8 episodes)
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If you want to get ahead of the material from “A Escada”, you can drink from the original source, the documentary. Showing all the difficulty of investigation and mystery that surrounds the case, French director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade returned to the main character, Michael Peterson (the husband), three times at different times. So we have the original seven episodes, released in 2004, plus two episodes from 2013 and another three, from 2018, all available as a single miniseries. Read Luciana Coelho’s review.
Available on Netflix (13 episodes)