Films About Family Relationships

Moving movies: While the list below is by no means comprehensive, it's a start. Please help us develop it further. Better still, send us a few sentences about how a particular film moved you.

Family life

A River Runs Through It
A Thousand Acres
After the Deluge
Because I Said So
Before and After
Before Midnight
Fly Away Home
Georgia Rule
In America
Little Miss Sunshine
Marvin's Room
On Golden Pond
One Fine Day
One True Thing
Ordinary People
Song for Marion
The Descendants
The Secret Life of Bees



Separation & Step Families

After the Deluge
Kramer vs Kramer
Mrs Doubtfire


Stepmom is not typical of the movies I usually watch but the story had an impact on me, enough to want to write this. You see, my mum and dad split up when I was 11, but it was the part where the mum - Susan Sarandon - is dying and waits nearly until the end to tell her family that got me the most. My dad was diagnosed with cancer and apparently he knew about it for some time before he died. I suppose he thought us kids had enough on our plate with the break-up but to this day I wish he'd told us. At least then we'd have had the chance to say good-bye. I don't have children just yet but when I do, I intend to include them in what's going on, no matter how difficult it might be for them. Nothing is as bad as not knowing. Dale

What Maise Knew


Adoption & Foster Families

December Boys
Forever Lulu
Free Willie
Losing Isaiah
Second Best


Single & Absent Parent(s)

33 Postcards
A Love Song for Bobby Long
About a Boy
As Good as It Gets

August Rush

Some people might find the sentiment in this urban fairy tale a little cliche, but I liked the film for the music more so than the story line. The idea that "music is all around" and "all we have to do is listen" captured my imagination, then took it out for a spin. I've found that I recognise truths more readily when they are communicated via the subtle, requiring me to engage on a level that somehow bypasses the rational mind. Not every one is comfortable with the apparent loss of control - I guess it requires a degree of trust. The boy character in August Rush was beautifully acted by Freddie Highmore. I rarely watch a movie twice. This one I happily sat through a second time just a week later - and loved every moment. Jess Bryan

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Beneath Clouds
Dear Frankie
Imitation of Life
Looking for Alibrandi
Pay it Forward
Sleepless in Seattle
The Shiralee
The Story of Antwone Fisher

Photo at top: Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Freddie Highmore from Augsut Rush (2007)