Terms of Endearment (1983)

PG   |    |  Comedy, Drama


Terms of Endearment (1983) Poster

Follows hard-to-please Aurora looking for love, and her daughter's family problems.

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7.4/10
48,632

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  • Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment (1983)
  • Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment (1983)
  • Jack Nicholson and Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment (1983)
  • Debra Winger and Jeff Daniels in Terms of Endearment (1983)
  • Debra Winger in Terms of Endearment (1983)
  • Jack Nicholson and Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment (1983)

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10 April 2001 | gridoon
7
| A little heavy, but with astonishing performances.
A well-observed, well-made drama (with occasional comedic moments), that may not be exactly "high art" (it's neither profound nor original), but DOES feature some great acting and manages to pull you in.

Debra Winger gives an extraordinary performance; she has a naturalness and expressiveness that you rarely see on the screen. When her character is happy, her whole face brightens up and her joy becomes infectious; when she's sad or confused or embarrassed, the emotions come across strongly, although she never goes over the top. Considering that she lost the Oscar to her co-star, Shirley MacLaine, who is reasonably good but far more one-note, I'd say we had a major Academy Award injustice there. Jack Nicholson is fun to watch and has some amusing lines, and most supporting roles, like those played by John Lithgow and Danny De Vito, are also first-rate and completely believable.

So overall it's a good film, directed almost flawlessly, although in the final 20 minutes it needlessly wallows in melodrama. (***)

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