Mother's Day is fast approaching. It's time for breakfast in bed, sweet phone calls and flowers.
And of course movies about horrible moms that make you realize just how lucky you are. Think you've had a rough patch or two with your mom over the years? You've got no idea.
U.S. & World
If you haven't yet checked out this Australian horror film from 2014, you're truly missing out. In a day when most films telegraph what's going on minutes into the story, this one really keeps you guessing until the ultimate reveal. After undergoing a cosmetic facial surgery, a woman comes back home to her isolated lakeside house and to her 10-year-old twin sons. Her head is covered in bandages, with only her eyes and mouth visible.
Who is this woman? Why are her twins acting creepy? And what the heck is going on under those bandages? Watch with the lights on.
August: Osage County
Sure, Meryl Streep has played bad before. With a career spanning over four decades and more than 50 films, how could she not? She was contemptible in "The Devil Wears Prada," despicable in "Death Becomes Her" and a manipulative schemer in "The Manchurian Candidate."
But has Streep ever been as downright nasty as she was in "August"? Playing a drug-addicted widow following the funeral of her husband who committed suicide, Streep welcomes her children home with brutal truth-telling that culminates in a bare-knuckled free-for-all with her eldest daughter, played by Julia Roberts.
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Few actresses disappear into a role as easily as modern-day chameleon Tilda Swinton. Here she plays a woman struggling to come to terms with her aloof son and the horrors he has committed.
Swinton's character has issues identifying as a mother and has trouble bonding with Kevin, who appears to loathe her and behaves in whatever way he thinks will torment her. As a baby, he cries incessantly, rebuffs her attempts at affection and shows no interest in anything. While he's still small, Swinton's frustration culminates with her throwing him against the wall, breaking his arm. From there, the downward spiral only digs deeper.
Kathy Bates portrays Stephen King's flawed heroine Dolores Clairborne in this thriller about a woman being accused of killing her elderly employer in a bloody, Stephen King-like fashion. When Claiborne's daughter, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, begrudgingly returns home to defend her mother, we dig deeper into a sordid past that includes murder and child abuse. It's far from a happy reunion.
The original mother from hell. No list of crazy movie moms would be complete without Faye Dunaway's iconic portrayal of screen queen Joan Crawford. Dunaway captures the abusive and tortured relationship between Crawford and her adopted daughter. You'll never look at a wire hanger the same way.
Ironically, Dunaway has been notoriously reticent on talking about the movie over the years, only recently telling People Magazine she doesn't look back fondly on the film. "I think it turned my career in a direction where people would irretrievably have the wrong impression of me," she said. "I should have known better, but sometimes you’re vulnerable and you don’t realize what you're getting into."