Almost Famous: Frances McDormand is a widowed mother relentlessly concerned about the corrupting influence of sex, drugs and rock & roll on her two teenage kids.
Bounce: Gwyneth Paltrow’s husband dies in a plane crash, leaving her with two sons, a mortgage and the struggle to pick up the pieces of her shattered life.
Chocolat: Juliette Binoche and her daughter lead a nomadic existence, moving from town to town bringing both levity and suspicion to those who sample her confections.
Dancer in the Dark: Bjork plays a Czech immigrant in rural America whose encroaching blindness impels her to save her paltry factory wages for an operation for her son to avoid the same fate.
Erin Brockovich: Julia Roberts is a twice-divorced mother of three who takes on a power company in a major lawsuit involving toxic waste while trying to hold her family together.
The Gift: Cate Blanchett plays a widowed mother of two who supports her family as a psychic while her clairvoyant powers draw her into a murder investigation in the small Georgia town where she lives.
Gladiator: As a widowed mother, Connie Nielsen is caught in a power struggle between a war hero enslaved by her brother, the emperor, whose instability represents a threat to her son.
Pay It Forward: Helen Hunt plays a struggling alcoholic mother estranged from her abusive husband while raising a son who, in a classic case of role reversal, is more responsible than she.
Requiem for a Dream: Ellen Burstyn is a lonely widow whose growing addiction to diet pills mirrors her son’s deterioration from heroin use.
You Can Count on Me: Laura Linney plays a divorced mother who tries to protect her son from the influence of her wayward brother as her own life unravels.