Why are mom and daughter relationships so difficult? Many are but most times mommas aren’t trying to hinder their daughters lives by preventing them from having one.
Enter the movie Everything, Everything, a wonderfully-made ode to motherhood and the bonds that bind by director Stella Meghie, stars Amandla Stenberg as Maddy a smart, curious and imaginative 18-year-old who is unable to leave the protection of the hermetically-sealed environment within her house because of an illness. It also stars the effervescent Anika Noni Rose, as Dr. Whittier, Maddy’s mother who takes care of her in the home with the help of her nurse Carla.
I got to preview the movie at a star-studded premiere with my 13-year-old daughter Mikaela and interview the stars of the movie, Anika Noni Rose, Amandla Stenberg and director Stella Meghie.
Also starring in the movie is Nick Robinson, who plays Olly, the boy next door who won’t let Maddy’s illness stop him from being with her. Gazing through windows and talking only through texts, Maddy and Olly form a deep bond that leads them to risk everything to be together, even if it means losing everything.
I asked Anika Noni Rose about how she harnessed the power of motherhood to play such an emotional and difficult part.
“I think Amandla is somebody who is very strong, who is very young but very old at the same time… but there’s also something about her… in spite of knowing very well that she’s able to take of herself, there is something about her that makes you want to take her in…And having spent time with her, and not a whole lot, to be honest I grew to love her very easily and very quickly. I’m a Virgo…I’m pretty maternal anyway but when I care I care deeply and pretty strongly and really hard … I think this woman (her character) is someone who loves very hard and I think that to love people and a person so hard and to have it to be taken away or have them walk away is a devastation… So I understand internally what it is to love someone hard. I have a nephew who I brought into a museum and he was like 2, and there was another kid who snatched a drum from him…and I’ve seen parents be real cool about that, but I wasn’t cool. You know it took everything in me to be cool… You know so I understand that mother-bear place…”
Well said Anika!
This is a movie moms and daughters should see together. I think it is a cautionary tale and lessons for moms that no matter how much we love our children, there comes a time where we have to let go and let them live. as a mom of five, I fully understand the gravity of that kind of decision. I just hope my daughters never feel like they have to run into the arms of a boy, but again it’s a tough job being a mom and sitting back with very little control over the decisions our kids make. I could really sympathize with Anika Noni Rose’s character. But lies will never prevail when it comes to our kids liberty. Go see Everything, Everything which comes out May 19!