Mother’s Day weekend is an opportunity for mothers to feel loved and appreciated. While there are many events happening this weekend to celebrate the mothers in our lives, getting popcorn and watching a film is always an option!

Since this particular holiday is dedicated to motherhood in all of its forms, the list below features a wide range of mother-daughter films that capture the complexity of these relationships. 

If you are looking for something to watch over Mother’s Day weekend that fits the theme, these picks will surely do the trick. 

Lady Bird (2017)

Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut follows Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan), also known as Lady Bird, as she enters senior year and longs to leave the small town of Sacramento for the city lights in New York. Given her family’s financial struggles, the thought of moving away seems impossible and this tension puts a strain on Lady Bird’s relationship with her mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf). Yet, as the character experiences both the good and the bad that comes with maturing, she rekindles her bond with Marion before heading to college on the East Coast.  


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Everything Everywhere All At Once (2023)

In this Oscar-winning film starring Michelle Yeoh, Evelyn Wang sees her laundromat business underperforming and her marriage on the brink of divorce. As she is launched into the multiverse, the character has the opportunity to save existence by connecting with the alternate realities she could’ve experienced if she didn’t have her family. Although this sci-fi adventure is filled with twists and turns, the highlight is Evelyn’s complex relationship with her daughter Joy. 

Miss Juneteenth (2020)

As a single mother and former pageant queen, Turquoise Jones’ (Nicole Beharie) greatest wish is for her daughter to follow in her footsteps and compete at the same beauty contest she won years ago. However, Kai (Alexis Chikaeze) is not at all excited to be a contestant in the pageantry and would much rather focus on pursuing dance. In the lead up to the competition, viewers see how these two characters find common ground despite their contrasting views for Kai’s future. 

Stepmom (1998)

This old-school pick shows that motherhood isn’t exclusive to women with biological children. In Stepmom, Jackie (Susan Sarandon) struggles to deal with the fact that her ex-husband’s much younger love interest will be in her kids’ lives for good. As she finds out about her terminal cancer diagnosis, the character must leave her distaste for Isabel (her ex’s fiancé played by Julia Roberts) aside and allow her to make meaningful connections with Jackie’s children so that they don’t grow up without a mother.


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North of Normal (2022)

A Canadian title was bound to appear on this list, and North of Normal depicts how certain mother-daughter relationships aren’t perfect. Based on an autobiography, the film follows Cea’s (Amanda Fix) unusual upbringing, growing up at a campsite in the Yukon with her mother Michelle (Sarah Gadon) and her grandparents. When Cea’s mom decides to move out, she takes her daughter with her to live with one boyfriend after the other. As the two navigate their unstable living situation, they find out that their bond is more important than anything else.

Freaky Friday (2003)

There isn’t a better time to revisit this Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis body swap comedy than Mother’s Day. In it, the actresses play a rebellious teen named Anna and a strict mother called Tess. The mother-daughter duo always gets into fights, which leads a lady working at a Chinese restaurant to give them special fortune cookies that ultimately makes the two characters swap identities. As Anna now inhabits Tess’ body and vice versa, they begin to sympathize with each other’s alternate points of view.


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The Queen of My Dreams (2023)

Onto a recent release, this Canadian production directed by Fawzia Mirza focuses on 22-year-old Azra (Amrit Kaur), whose relationship with her mother (Nimra Bucha) is strained over the latter’s conservative mindset. With her father’s death taking an emotional toll on them both, the film shows flashbacks of their coming-of-age journeys set in Karachi and Nova Scotia. As viewers go back in time with the protagonists, they come to understand Azra and her mother’s complicated ties with where they came from and with each other.

Mamma Mia (2008)

An upbeat musical that never gets old, Mamma Mia takes place in Greece close to Sophie’s (Amanda Seyfried) wedding celebration. The bride-to-be is planning everything alongside her single mom (Meryl Streep) and her mom’s best friends, and although she’s excited about saying ‘I do’, Sophie hopes to meet her biological father just in time for him to walk her down the aisle. Despite this being a film focusing on the quest for her father, it’s filled with beautiful mother-daughter moments that will make you want to sing along.

Grey Gardens (1975)

In this cult doc, Edie Bouvier Beale and her daughter “Little Edie” live in a secluded mansion in East Hampton away from the upper-class society they used to be a part of. As this quirky and authentic mother-daughter duo see their home slowly decaying, they hold onto their “It girl” past by reminiscing over pictures and telling the camera about their experiences without any filter. Throughout the documentary, viewers get a glimpse of their reality and grow fond of their unusual lifestyle.

Mamma Mia and Grey Gardens will be playing at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema exclusively on Mother’s Day.