Best films about motherhood on Netflix now
Netflix and Chill? Sit back and celebrate the women in your life, with the best films about motherhood on Netflix now
Lady in red: Natalie Portman in Jackie
The assassination of John F. Kennedy gave way to a worldwide outpour of grief, but Pablo Larraín's 2016 biopic Jackie focuses on the pain that lies closest to home with a deep insight into the life of First Lady Jackie Kennedy in the immediate aftermath.
Jackie had four children – Caroline was almost six and John Jr. was days away from turning three when the tragedy occurred, while both Arabella and Patrick died as infants. The film, in a significant part thanks to Natalie Portman's outstanding, paper-delicate performance, captures the severe strain placed on the First Lady. It manifests in a whirlwind of grief and public pride, and Jackie stands as an indie gem to this day.
And the Oscar goes to... Patricia Arquette: Boyhood
Richard Linklater's coming-of-age portrait differs to other time-travelling stories of childhood, teenagehood, motherhood – precisely because the film captures the characters, and actors, in real time: Boyhood was filmed every year for 12 years.
Patricia Arquette won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as Olivia, the mother of the central boy in the film. The family goes through years of emotional trial, and her versatile character testifies to the flexibility and strength that motherhood demands.
Dolly knows best: Dumplin'
Jennifer Aniston injects the evil stepmother character with believable emotion in Dumplin', Netflix's charming and country-loving movie. Dolly Parton inspires the premise, when a ‘protest in heels’ becomes the most important competition of teenager Will’s (Danielle McDonald) life, when she makes the unexpected decision to enter the annual Miss Teen Bluebonnet Pageant.
Challenging her mother Rosie (Anniston), the pageant’s director and main judge, Will intends to show Rosie just how shallow her life’s work is. After few magic tricks, some melancholic Dolly originals and an honest understanding of complex female relationships, Dumplin’ wraps itself up with a neat bow and a glorious amount of sequins.
Take care of each other: Bird Box
It took the world by storm over Christmas and is still one of the most-watched films on Netflix. Sandra Bullock stars as Malorie Hayes, a woman taking care of two children in the midst of a post-apocalyptic world in which supernatural images prompt those who look at them to take their own lives.
It's a broader, more fantastical depiction of motherhood, tapping into heightened genre theatrics not so dissimilar to A Quiet Place. Susanne Bier directs, revealing her sensibility for stories told from a different point of view to those usually afforded to in violent dramas.
All eyes on her: Whitney: Can I Be Me
The legacy of Whitney Houston has been explored and retold in several documentaries already, but Can I Be Me uses the artist's death as a starting point and looks back on her most intimate relationships. Houston's role as a mother is not to be underestimated, as the film features testimonies from her late daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown who grew up in the whirlwind of her mother's fame.
Annette, Greta, Dakota: 20th Century Women
An all-star cast brings a tender homecoming story to life in Mike Mills' 20th Century Women. In 1979, a boarding house in Santa Barbara, California, houses a handful of mismatched individuals whose lives converge and compliment each other in surprising ways.
Taking care of the growing pains of a teenage boy just as much as the insecurities of women in three different stages of life, the film offers a rounded portrait of the ties that bind family ideals we create for ourselves. Annette Bening, Dakota Johnson and Greta Gerwig shine in potentially career-best performances.