Mary Tyler Moore plays a rigid, distant mother who shuns her depressed and struggling teenage son Conrad (Timothy Hutton) following the accidental drowning of Conrad's older brother. Winner of 4 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director (Robert Redford). (1980) More about the movie. Adapted from Judith Guest's novel
Armin Mueller-Stahl plays the unyielding, tyrannical father of piano prodigy David Helfgott (Geoffrey Rush). Nominated for 7 Academy Awards and winner of Best Actor Oscar. (1996) More about the movie. Adapted from Gillian Helfgott's non-fiction account
The controlling family living next door to Lester and Carolyn Burnham (Kevin Spacey and Annette Benning) provides the crucial plot twist in this 1999 Best Picture Oscar winner. Chris Cooper plays Col. Frank Fitts, an ultra-rigid, abusive ex-Marine married to a near-catatonic wife and dominating a secretive son. (1999) More about the movie. Adapted from Alan Ball's screenplay.
THE GREAT SANTINI
Robert Duvall plays Marine Lt. Bull Meecham who brutalizes his four children, especially his oldest, 18-year-old Ben (Michael O'Keefe). Duvall and O'Keefe were nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. (1979) More about the movie. Adapted from Pat Conroy's novel
Faye Dunaway portrays actress Joan Crawford's heart-wrenching abuse of her adopted daughter Christina, played by Mara Hobel and Diana Scarwid. (1981) More about the movie. Adapted from Christina Crawford's non-fiction account.
DEAD POETS SOCIETY
In this poignant subplot of Robin William's portrayal of life at an upper-crust boy's prep school, Kurtwood Smith is the coldly calculating father of Neil Perry (Robert Sean Leonard), who yearns to follow his love of acting despite his father's threats. Won Best Screenplay Oscar. (1989) More about the movie. Adapted from N. H. Kleinbau's book
THE JOY LUCK CLUB
A heart-wrenching story of four Chinese-American mothers and daughters as they cope with tragic pasts and hopeful futures. Rosalind Chao, Tamlyn Tomita, Ming-Na Wen and Lauren Tom star as the adult daughters. (1993) More about the movie. Adapted from Amy Tan's novel
THE PRINCE OF TIDES
Nick Nolte gives a rich performance as a middle-aged football coach confronting the devastating impact his Cultlike, Abusive upbringing had on his suicidal artist sister (Melinda Dillon) as well as on himself. Barbra Steisand directs and stars as Dillon's New York psychiatrist. (1991) More about the movie. Adapted from Pat Conroy's novel
ANYWHERE BUT HERE
Susan Sarandon plays an unpredictable, Smothering, sometimes Childlike single mother who takes up the emotional oxygen in her relationship with her teenage daughter, played by Natalie Portman. (1999) More about the movie. Adapted from Mona Simpson's novel
Ray Milland is Oliver Barrett III, the disapproving and imposing father of Harvard Law student Oliver Barrett IV (Ryan O'Neal), who breaks from his father's control over his love for his wife, Jenny (Ali McGraw). (1970) More about the movie. Adapted from Erich Segal's novel
I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER
Gene Hackman plays a middle-aged widower, still trying to win approval from his distant father, played by Melvyn Douglas. (1970) More about the movie. Adapted from Robert Anderson's stage play
Bette Davis is Charlotte Vale, an introverted, depressed woman who ends up in a mental institution following years of her mother's (Gladys Cooper) domineering parenting. (1942) More about the movie
THIS BOY'S LIFE
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Toby, a 13-year-old son of a single mother (Ellen Barkin) who moves in with a hot-tempered oddball (Robert DeNiro) who turns out to be chillingly abusive to Toby. (1993) More about the movie Based on Tobias Wolff's Memoir
THE SQUID AND THE WHALE
Jeff Daniels plays a darkly-self-absorbed father whose rocky marriage and divorce to wife Joan (Laura Linney) causes angst and acting out in the couple's two boys. (2005). More about the movie. The movie, written and directed by Noah Brumbach, won Sundance Film Festival honors.
Helen Mirren's Academy Award-winning portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, trapped by outmoded tradition and rigid personality in the days following the death of Princess Diana. (2006) More about the movie
LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE
This compelling love story based in Mexico tells the story of a young woman (Lumi Cavazos) who is forced to suppress her passions by her stern mother but channels them into her cooking. (1993) More about the movie. Adapted from the bestselling novel by Laura Esquivel
Natalie Portman won the best actress Oscar for her riveting performance as a ballerina tragically driven by her own demons and by her darkly perfectionistic and overbearing mother, played brilliantly by Barbara Hershey. (2010) More about the movie.
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