TERMS OF ENDEARMENT (1983) C widescreen 130m dir: James Brooks

w/Debra Winger, Shirley MacLaine, Jack Nicholson, Jeff Daniels, Danny DeVito, John Lithgow, Betty King, Lisa Hart Carroll, Huckleberry Fox, Megan Morris, Jennifer Josey

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From The Movie Guide: "Lopsided comedy-tearjerker, saved by excellent performances. TV veteran James Brooks ("Mary Tyler Moore Show") wrote, directed, and co-produced the film which examines a 30-year period in the lives of Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine) and her daughter, Emma (as a child, Jennifer Josey; as an adult, Debra Winger). ...

"Winger is absolutely winning all the way, with a deathbed scene that may not have been equaled since Bette Davis lay down in DARK VICTORY. MacLaine works like a slow-cooker. The early scenes are her usual stabs at caricature (almost every choice in the dining room scene is wrong), but she is freed by Nicholson; their scenes have a great element of play to them. About the time she demands better hospital treatment for her daughter, she begins to take chances and ventures into virtuoso territory. Nicholson, while certainly not worth the $1 million price tag for his services, delivers an amusing variation on himself. Brooks writes some of the best dialogue around, but the film is directed in a perfunctory fashion, and many scenes go on far too long. Needless to say, it was a huge commercial success; it's one of those movies that manipulates you into thinking it touched you while it's balancing its bank account. And the box-office profited by gossip that the leading ladies despised each other --- making it one of those detective watches for more hardened viewers. Something for everyone, indeed."

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT was awarded five Oscars: Best Picture, Director, Actress (MacLaine), Supporting Actor (Nicholson), and Adapted Screenplay (Brooks, based on the novel by Larry McMurtry). It was also nominated for Best Actress (Winger), Supporting Actor (Lithgow), Art Direction, Editing, Original Score, and Sound.