Have you noticed that some of the richest, most nuanced roles written for women take the form of mothers in incredibly difficult circumstances? With her latest film mother! (out 15th September), Jennifer Lawrence joins the ranks of actresses playing mothers (and expecting mothers) pushed to the edge of their sanity.
The women in these movies live in different eras, with different financial situations, in locations flung all over the globe. Despite these differences, they're in a similarly perilous emotional state. Each is adrift and entirely alone in their experience. If they're married, their husbands are not supportive or present, but expect their wives to behave a certain way. Their kids, on the other hand, are demanding, and provide the regular maelstrom of joy and struggle.
Consequently, the women are trapped within their unseemly individual circumstances — from living next to Satan worshippers in Rosemary's Baby or being chased by a monster in The Babadook — and are equally trapped by expectation of how a mother should "be". This dichotomy leads to some absolutely unforgettable roles.
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