What a great piece Justin Chang has written in the L.A. Times ($): “From ‘Turning Red’ to ‘Everything Everywhere,’ the Asian (North) American mom goes mainstream.”

As Mother’s Day nears – my first since my mom’s passing – it kind of hits me in the gut in a sad and complicated way. These paragraphs (with my own emphasis added) especially linger for me right now.

Maybe you too were raised by an Asian American (or Asian Canadian) mom with some resemblance to Ming, a mom who only ever wanted the best for you and never let you forget it. And if you will allow me to generalize further, in hopes of getting more specific: Maybe she wanted you to enjoy the material benefits of a Western upbringing while still upholding the strict cultural traditions of an Eastern one — and to that end, she rigorously policed your academics, your extracurricular activities and your sorry excuse for a social life. Maybe she skimped on verbal and physical affection, favoring a love language that expressed itself in steamers full of dumplings or plates of sliced fruit.

Maybe she didn’t mind embarrassing you in public since your family, being of Asian descent and therefore of perpetual outsider status, didn’t really belong to that public in any meaningful sense. And maybe she’d blanch if anyone dared call her a “tiger mom,” a term popularized by Amy Chua’s 2011 memoir, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” and disavowed by many as offensive. Then again, if she’s anything like my mom, maybe she embraces the “tiger mother” label and wears it proudly. …

Asian American moms, in other words, are not a mom-olith. And it’s been gratifying to see so many recent mainstream movies arrive at that conclusion, several of them by way of richly imaginative premises that happily dispense with realism in favor of fantasy, science fiction and even horror. And why not? (Whose Asian American childhood wasn’t, at some point, a horror movie?) In “Umma,” Iris K. Shim’s muddled but intriguing ghost story, [Sandra] Oh plays Amanda, a quietly anxious Korean American mother whose lengthy estrangement from her emotionally abusive mother has sinister implications for her relationship with her own teenage daughter. Shim’s attempt to meld parental trauma and boogey-mom shivers isn’t entirely successful, but Oh’s performance sounds a resonant echo of her very different work in “Turning Red”: In both movies, a cycle of generational pain can be broken only when a controlled and controlling mother learns to relinquish her tight hold on her own kid — and, ultimately, herself.

Took F and one of her best friends to see “Princess Mononoke” at a local theater and then Starbucks afterward. Not surprised to learn more about Frannie’s middle school life in one afternoon than I have in 3 years of asking her “How was school today?” every weekday.

🎬📽🍿Watched “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” last night. This is the second straight week of seeing a movie with a nerd girl protagonist (with an extra layer of weird-dysfunctional-but-loving-family issues). I am nothing if not an enabler of my daughter’s creative geek inclinations.

And incidentally, the movie was fantastic. We all loved it. I might venture to say that I liked this film’s approach to technology more than that of “Belle” (even though I loved that movie, too).

🎬📽🍿 Friday means movie night here, and we caught “Turning Red” that night.

Having been a dorky, overachieving 13-year-old daughter of Asian immigrants, the movie especially worked for me.

🎬📽🍿 Our Studio Ghibli binge continued tonight with Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984). That’s Ghibli film No. 9 since Christmas.

That HBO Max subscription we gifted ourselves last month has paid off rather nicely.

🎬📽🍿 Watched “Belle” this afternoon. First time in a while, if ever, that we ever left the theater in complete silence as we tried to unpack everything.

I can at least say it is one of the most visually stunning animated features I’ve ever seen.

🎬📽🍿 Tonight, I learned that “Princess Mononoke” kicks the Lorax’s ass.

Took F to a movie theater for the first time since the Before Times. It hasn’t been easy to get any gift or celebration ideas from the birthday girl; however, she really wanted to go to a movie. Specifically, she wanted to see “Raya and the Last Dragon” and “Soul.” The latter is streaming only, but we could catch “Raya” in a theater.

It was an entirely manageable experience. I bought tickets and snacks online in advance; we picked up the snacks at the allotted time and found the seats (sanitized for our protection) flanking our reserved seats taped off. Aside from having to wear masks except when eating or drinking – and the very sparsely attended theater – it was fine.

“Raya” was a good movie for our return to an afternoon at the movies. It’s another well-done Disney feature that gets away further from the princess-without-a-male-love-interest trend among Disney movies. (I just learned that there’s speculation that there’s an LGBTQ bond between the protagonist and her frenemy.) I appreciated the Southeast Asian cultural smorgasbord it offers, despite understandable anger about the casting of non-Southeast Asian actors; still, I was delighted to realize that Awkwafina is the voice of the goofy dragon. Meanwhile, F was just there for the dragons.

Anyway, it was a nice afternoon with F. I’ve missed hanging out with her at a movie theater.