Oscar Review: Terms of Endearment (1983)

An all-star cast composed of Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Jeff Daniels, and John Lithgow brought Terms of Endearment 5 Oscars out of 11 nominations for Best Actress (MacLaine), Supporting Actor (Nicholson), Director, Adapted Screenplay and Picture (James L. Brooks).

Spanning many years in their tumultuous love/hate relationship, mother Aurora and daughter Emma struggle to express and receive the love they have for each other and maneuver through the landmines they have set up around themselves. It’s an honest look at the complexities of family interactions and the difficulties of life that come along.
I don’t think Terms of Endearment is a bad movie, I just don’t think it is a great one. The actors play their roles quite well and deserve their honors. However, having seen other contenders for 1983’s Best Picture statuette such as The Big Chill and The Right Stuff I think each of those films are far more enjoyable and, in the case of The Right Stuff, tell a more important story.

This film certainly has its moments but, in the end, it’s just not one that does much for me.

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