The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival


A Frida Cinema tradition returns as we join OC Pride — and whip out the mimosas! – to celebrate Mother’s Day, 2021 with The Mother of All Bad Movies Mommie Dearest!

Director Frank Perry’s 1981 classic is based on the explosive autobiography of Christina Crawford, the adopted daughter of famed classic Hollywood actress, Joan Crawford. Actresses Mara Hobel and Diana Scarwid play Christina, who chronicles her and her brother Christopher’s unstable life with their narcissistic mother, Joan (Faye Dunaway), and her manic and abusive behavior, fueled by both her ambition and her alcoholism. Despite Joan publicly portraying their life as perfect, the living hell that was life at the Crawford home is given a somewhat unintentional campy frame by director Frank Perry, coupled with over-the-top melodramatic performances, and of course, more than a few memorable breakdowns – and classic lines – by Dunaway.

On top of being initially panned by critics and winning six Razzie awards (including Worst Picture and Worst Picture of the Decade), the legacy of cult classic phenomenon Mommie Dearest includes shattering Joan Crawford’s legacy as a Hollywood icon to one of pop culture’s most cold-hearted and abusive mothers, and damaging Oscar-winner Faye Dunaway’s otherwise stellar career.

This special Mommie Dearest Mimosas Mother’s Day! presentation is co-presented by OC Pride, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to funding community projects, hosting events, and raising awareness and understanding of Orange County’s incredible LGBTQ+ family!

“This is lavish and pretty accurate as far as Hollywood lore is concerned, but Dunaway makes Norma Desmond look like Doris Day.” – Adrian Turner, Radio Times

“Right up there with Showgirls in the cinematic car wreck you can’t avert your eyes from.” – Jon Niccum, Lawrence Journal-World

“And so Mommie Dearest becomes a kind of homage to the monster herself—the emotions are so splendid, the scenes so dramatic, the experiences so incandescent.” – Peter Ackroyd, The Spectator