A Mother's Day tribute to the best movie moms

May 12, 2013 

It's Mother's Day, so let's pay tribute to real moms by honoring some of the best fictional moms from the movies.

• Mrs. Gump (Sally Field) in "Forrest Gump" : Her son was mentally challenged, but through hard work, devotion and special effects she turned him into a war hero, a champion athlete and business tycoon.

• Jenny Fields (Glenn Close) in "The World According to Garp": Not a conventional mom, obviously, but she guided her extended family with love and a strong moral focus.

• Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine) in "Terms of Endearment": Sure, she was so annoying that you wanted to slap her, but she loved her daughter and her grandsons fiercely.

• Elaine Miller (Frances McDormand) in "Almost Famous": She was repressively overprotective by nature, but she overcame her instincts and let her underage son go on tour with a rock band so he could write for Rolling Stone. That takes a lot of love and no small measure of fortitude.

• Peg (Dianne Wiest) in "Edward Scissorhands": Not too bright, maybe, but she doted on her de facto son, even after he poked holes in the waterbed.

• Mary (Dorothy Cumming) in "King of Kings" (1927 version): Because Mary had to be on this list, and Cumming gave one of the most effective performances.

• Chris McNeil (Ellen Burstyn) in "The Exorcist": She went to extreme lengths to get help for her daughter, mopped up the pea soup and lied to the cops when Regan threw the guy out the window. That's what mothers are for.

• Edwina "Ed" McDunnough (Holly Hunter) in "Raising Arizona": Her insides were a rocky place where Hi's seed could find no purchase, but for short time she found a way to be a loving mother to Nathan Jr.

• Tommy's Mother (Catherine Scorsese) in "Goodfellas": Tommy and his friends just

came over to borrow a shovel so they could bury the guy in the trunk of their car, but she still took the time to cook them a nice meal.

• Morticia Addams (Angelica Huston) in "The Addams Family": She encouraged her kids to pursue hobbies that interested them.

And the bad

Bad movie moms have their place too, if for no other reason that they make us feel better about our real-life mothers. So here's a quick nod to a few of them:

• Margaret White (Piper Laurie) in "Carrie"

• Mrs. Bates (Anthony Perkins) in "Psycho"

• Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) in "The Graduate"

• Mary (Mo'Nique) in "Precious"

• Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway) in "Mommie Dearest."

And, in closing, these lines from the song "O Superman" by Laurie Anderson: "When hope is gone there's always justice. And when justice is gone there's always force. And when force is gone there's always mom. Hi Mom!"

Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-748-0411, ext. 7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.

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