Before you virtually celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday, why not Zoom/Facetime/Google Meet/or just plain dial up your mom and share in the bountiful mom-ready movie options available out there in the streaming world? To mark a Mother’s Day like no other in history, The Globe and Mail’s Barry Hertz presents five streaming bets that are made for maternal bonding.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Crave: There are purists out there who will tell you that the only ABBA movie musical worth watching is the original Mamma Mia. But I am not one of those cold-hearted types. If you and your mother would like to virtually share a big ol’ glass of white wine, then turn on Crave and press “start” at the same time on this underrated and rather bananas 2018 song-and-dance extravaganza. Plus: Lily James does an startlingly good young Meryl Streep.
Brave, Disney+: For any mothers out there looking to have some quality bonding time with their daughters – and you’ve already cycled through the Frozen films to the point of near-insanity – take a detour with one of Pixar’s lesser-loved properties. This tale of a headstrong Scottish archer and the mom she just doesn’t understand bears the mark of some last-minute creative battles, but it’s still a heartwarming and beautifully animated look at the most unbreakable of bonds.
Wine Country, Netflix: Did I mention wine earlier? Am I indulging in a cliche by doing so? Well, forgive me times two, but there is a lot of refreshing comfort in downing a bottle or two with your mom, or really anyone, and turning on this Netflix comedy. The directorial debut of Amy Poehler isn’t the most original of efforts, but it does down smooth.
The Farewell, Amazon Prime Video: Using director Lulu Wang’s own family history – “based on an actual lie,” as the opening credits inform – The Farewell tells a big family drama that carefully gets whittled to a hundred tiny little dramas, each affecting in their own way. Wang’s eye for small-yet-large details is amplified tenfold by the performances she wrings out of her cast, including a stellar lead turn by Awkwafina as a daughter who yearns to connect to her mother and grandmother, but faces obstacles both minute and gigantic along the way.
Brooklyn, Kanopy: As solid and sturdy a crowd-pleaser as they make nowadays, director John Crowley and screenwriter Nick Hornby’s adaptation of Colm Toibin’s immigration story-cum-romance is pure Mom Cinema. There’s lovely locales, sweet characters with deeply felt performances to match and a narrative focused on equal parts independence and family reliance. On the flip side: the free service Kanopy also offers two movies focusing on moms at their very worst: We Need to Talk About Kevin and Margot at the Wedding. Hey, this Mother’s Day weekend calls for catharsis, too.
Plan your screen time with the weekly What to Watch newsletter. Sign up today.