The best thing about OTT platforms is that they offer a large buffet of movies from across the world showcasing relationships that bind us all together via the thread of emotions. Needless to say, there are many films that address mother-daughter relationships from different angles. While we all have our choices and selections, in this article, we bring some of the best films that Netflix offers and showcase the titular relationship, each in a different manner.
11. Black Crab (2022)
This Adam Berg-directed Swedish action thriller is based on Jerker Virdborg’s 2002 novel ‘Svart Krabba’ (English translation: Black Crab). It follows a mother, Edh (Noomi Rapace), who is desperately searching for her daughter Vajna (Stella Marcimain Klintberg) in the aftermath of a war. Her search makes her a part of a special task force that is supposed to deliver a secret package to a research base, but for it, they will have to cross the ice-covered Stockholm Archipelago. What pushes her to say yes to the mission is the chance to get to her daughter, who has been found in a refugee camp on the other end of the frozen sea. Will she be able to survive in the old while being under continuous risk of getting shot and killed by the enemies? Will the will of a mother triumph over the fear of death? To find out, you can watch ‘Black Crab’ here.
10. Moxie (2021)
‘Moxie’ follows 16-year-old Vivian Carter, who decides to take a stand against sexism at her school after being dormant for a long time. This encouragement and inspiration came to her after coming across her mother’s feminist zines, and she started her own zine named “Moxie.” The aim is to call out mistreatment towards girls and give them a voice that is heard. Based on the 2017 novel of the same name by Jennifer Mathieu, ‘Moxie’ stars Hadley Robinson as Vivian, Amy Poehler, the director of the movie, as Vivian’s mother, Alycia Pascual-Peña, Lauren Tsai, Patrick Schwarzenegger, and Sydney Park. You can watch the movie here.
9. Mamma Mia! (2008)
Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, ‘Mamma Mia!’ is a jukebox musical comedy written by Catherine Johnson, who also wrote the book based on her 1999 play of the same name. It contains the songs of the Swedish pop group ABBA. Starring Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård and Pierce Brosnan, the film shows Sophie (Seyfried) who, before her wedding day in the Greek islands where the arrangements are in full swing under her mother Donna’s (Streep) orders, secretly invites the three men (played by Brosnan, Skarsgård and Firth) Donna dated to find out who among them is her father. Then, Sophie intends to walk down the aisle with him. But is it a good idea or a bad one? To find out, you can watch this entertaining flick right here.
8. The Mother (2023)
Starring Jennifer Lopez, Lucy Paez, Omari Hardwick, and Joseph Fiennes, ‘The Mother’ is an action thriller directed by Niki Caro. It tells the story of an operative codenamed “the Mother” who is attacked by an enemy during an interrogation by the FBI. She manages to escape, albeit wounded, and later on, gives birth to a premature girl. Worried that she won’t be safe with her, she leaves the baby with a special agent and goes into hiding.
However, 12 years later, a threat to her daughter, who has been named Zoe by her foster parents, brings her out of hiding. And when Zoe is kidnapped, she rescues her and brings her along to a safe house in Alaska, training her and sharpening and honing her skills. After all, one should always be prepared for danger. Through the training, we get to see how the estranged relationship slowly spirals into a love-hate one and eventually brings the two women closer. You can stream the film here.
7. Dumplin (2018)
Directed by Anne Fletcher, ‘Dumplin’ is a coming-of-age comedy starring Danielle Macdonald and Jennifer Aniston in the leads. It tells the story of Willowdean “Will” Dickson, the plus-size teenage daughter of Rosie, a former beauty queen of their Texas town, and the present planner of the town’s annual Miss Teen Bluebonnet Pageant.
However, Will doesn’t like it when her mother calls her “Dumplin” as it signifies her appearance, and one day, she finally decides to take part in the pageant to protest against it and retaliate to how she feels about people judging her for her weight. Seeing her, other plus-size teenage girls take part too. While we see how the small Texas town gets a revolutionized pageant, the movie also showcases how the mother slowly realizes her mistakes in understanding her child, ultimately bringing them closer. A fun-to-watch movie, you can stream ‘Dumplin’ here.
6. 18 Presents (2020)
Directed by Francesco Amato, ‘18 Presents’ is an Italian drama that tells the story of a mother-daughter relationship that transcends physical bonding. We see a mother, Elisa (Vittoria Puccini), who gives birth to a baby girl, Anna, but passes away soon after due to breast cancer. However, she leaves her daughter 18 gifts, each for one birthday, till Anna (Benedetta Porcaroli) grows to be 18. Through the gifts, Anna gets to know Elisa, her love for her, and the sacrifices she made. As sweet as it is, one cannot deny the pain, anger, and regret that each gift carries. While the gifts are a way for Anna to feel the presence of her mother in her life, they are also a reminder that she will never see her. You can stream this emotional drama right here.
5. Sunday’s Illness (2018)
Ramon Salazar has directed this Spanish film, which stars Bárbara Lennie and Susi Sánchez. The undercurrents of the mother-daughter relationship showcased in the movie are sublimely complex and are left to the audience to perceive. In the film, we see Anabel, whose daughter Chiara, whom she abandoned when the latter was only eight years old, returns after 30 years with a peculiar request. Chiara wants Anabel to spend ten days with her. While it sounds like a doable thing, what Anabel doesn’t know is the request that Chiara has for her, which is scary and “life-changing,” to say the least. To find out what that is, you can stream the film here.
4. Awake (2021)
This Mark Raso directorial shows what happens when some unknown catastrophe disables everything that runs on electricity and takes away sleep from humanity. In other words, humanity is facing an unending insomnia. As people slowly start to lose their minds due to being unable to sleep, a mother struggles to find a safe place for her ten-year-old daughter, who seems to have the cure for worldwide insomnia. To find out whether the cure is manufactured, you can stream the film here.
3. I Am Mother (2019)
Directed by Grant Sputore, ‘I Am Mother’ is a cyberpunk flick starring Clara Rugaard, Rose Byrne, and Hilary Swank. A commendable take on the mother-daughter relationship, the film is set in a dystopian future where we see an A. I named Mother to raise a female child named Daughter based on its own intelligence regarding ethics and morals. However, when a woman (human) breaches the bunker that Mother and Daughter are in, secrets come to the surface that seem to compromise Mother’s motives by raising doubts in Daughter’s mind. What secret is Mother hiding? Does Daughter find them out? Who is the mysterious woman? You can stream the film here to know the answers to these as well as what ultimately happens.
2. Enola Holmes (2020)
Directed by Harry Bradbeer, the movie is adapted from Nancy Springer’s ‘The Enola Holmes Mysteries’ novel series. It tells the story of Enola (Millie Bobby Brown), the sister of detectives Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft Holmes (Sam Claflin). Enola sets off on her mission to find her mother, Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter), who suddenly disappeared on the morning of Enola’s sixteenth birthday, leaving behind a handful of clues. While looking for her mother, she also comes across the young Viscount Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge), who is being chased by men bent on killing him.
While juggling between the two assignments of searching for her mum and helping Tewkesbury, she breaks the fourth wall to tell viewers about her mother and how she trained her in everything that was considered unlikely for a woman during the Victorian era. A treat to watch, both visually and emotionally, you can stream ‘Enola Holmes’ right here.
1. The Lost Daughter (2021)
Starring Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Jessie Buckley, and Ed Harris, ‘The Lost Daughter,’ written and directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal, is a recipient of three Academy Award nominations. The film follows middle-aged university professor Leda Caruso (Colman), who meets young mother Nina (Johnson) and her 3-year-old daughter Elena while on a vacation in Greece. Nina’s exhaustion at bringing out her child reminds Leda of her own motherhood and the pain she underwent while bringing up her two daughters. This takes the shape of her being obsessed with the mother-daughter duo, which even makes her get involved in their dynamic. What happens then? To find out, you can watch this psychological drama here.
Read More: Best Father-Daughter Movies