As you can imagine, Mother's Day is quite a big deal for us here at Floom HQ, but that didn't stop us putting everything aside for one moment for a spirited discussion about who our favourite maternal characters are to ever grace our screens. We somehow managed to whittle it down to five the below.
It’s a celebration of the baddest muthas out there, from mobster wives to acid-dodging alien killers… One thing’s for sure, we know that none of them would settle for a poxy bunch of drab supermarket flowers on Mother’s Day. Floom doesn’t have a tagline but if it did, I reckon we could do worse than the following:
Floom: flowers you can give the Mother of Dragons, without fear of getting burnt/eaten alive.
(Okay it needs a bit of work still…)
Carmela Soprano (The Sopranos, 1999-2007)
Arguably the finest, most influential TV show of all time, The Sopranos was anchored not only by the powerhouse performance of the late, great James Gandolfini but also by Edie Falco’s portrayal of Tony’s wife, Carmela.
It would have been so easy to cast Carmela as the shallow villainess of the show, dripping in diamonds and manicures procured through her husband’s ill-gotten gains. Yet Falco brought such gravitas to the role, such shade of character and layers of ambiguity to the love she had for her family that its little wonder she walked away with three Emmys, two Golden Globes and two SAG awards for her portrayal.
Of course, the mobster setting of the Sopranos takes things to an arena few of us will ever experience… But the undying if not always unfaltering love that a mother has for her family, and the complexities involved in navigating that love? That’s something we can all relate to on some level.
Danaerys Targaryen (Game Of Thrones, 2011-)
We’re already salivating with excitement at the return of Game Of Thrones, and its still a good couple of months away from our screens. For that reason alone, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to feature everybody’s favourite Stormborn, everybody’s favourite Mother Of Dragons.
GoT is filled with powerful women who are more than a match for their gruff male counterparts, but it is the fragile intensity of Danaerys (played by Emilia Clarke) who captures that perfect balance of being both relatable and awe-inspiring. Transcending her often brutal, occasionally heartbreaking relationships with men, her instincts may be masked in her desire for power, but frequently they manifest themselves as a desire to protect.
Plus, you know, she has three fire-breathing kids who can fly.
Manuela (All About My Mother, 1999)
We could have picked any one of the strong, empowered women who populate Pedro Almodovar’s filmography, however somewhat predictably we settled on Manuela from his masterpiece, All About My Mother.
Cecilia Roth’s performance is both magnificent and moving, navigating a melodrama that encompasses bereavement, queer politics, AIDS… and ultimately the enduring power of woman/sisterhood in the face of all the world can throw at it. In the end, it is perhaps Almodovar himself who sums it up best in his dedication: ‘To all actresses who have played actresses. To all women who act. To men who act and become women. To all the people who want to be mothers. To my mother.’
The Five Wives (Mad Max: Fury Road, 2015)
The film is on our mind after its recent amazing sweep at the 2016 Oscars, and Charlize Theron’s Furiosa is one of the greatest female action leads since Ripley (see below). Unfortunately she doesn’t quite count for this particular rundown, but luckily for us she had some absolute badasses in tow for the duration of this frenetic film who do qualify (just about).
The five wives, at least two of whom are pregnant, just want what every good mother wants: a safe, comfortable place to call home, to raise their children. Unfortunately for them, they happen to be the slave-wives of a grotesque ruler in a post-apocalyptic wasteland with no water and lots of mutant henchmen. The suburbs this ain’t. For the best part of two hours we get to watch these (exceedingly beautiful, it has to be said) women give it their all in their quest - to the point where the titular Max becomes almost incidental to the female-led spectacle that unfolds.
Ripley (Aliens, 1986)
The original Alien gave us Ellen Ripley: a true feminist icon and new breed of action/horror movie hero. Aliens, its equally impressive sequel, saw Ripley return, but this time it introduced a whole host of motherly themes. The film begins with Ripley discovering that, after decades in ‘stasis,’ her daughter has died an elderly woman while she remains the same age. When Ripley is inevitably reintroduced to a hostile environment teeming with Aliens, her motherly instincts take over as she discovers a plucky girl named Newt who is about the same age Ripley’s own daughter would have been last time they were together.
Ripley makes Newt’s survival the focus of her quest, and the ultimate showdown between Ripley and ‘The Queen’ results in arguably the most iconic expression of motherly love ever committed to film (I still get goosebumps). Altogether now: ‘Get away from her, you bitch!’
If you’d put your own fearsome mother amongst this list then fear not, our selection of fresh, seasonal Mother’s Day bouquets are reprisal-proof.