Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – Terms of Endearment (1983)

Starring Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger & Jack Nicholson

Rating 7/10

Ah family, can’t live with them, can’t choose them. This is another Best Picture winner about family dynamics. In the same vein as Kramer Vs Kramer, this film revolves around some raw family issues.

Aurora Greenway (MacLaine) is an over-protective, controlling and quirky single mum. Her daughter, Emma (Winger), is getting ready to get married and mumma isn’t happy… no! Her baby girl eventually finds herself impregnated and once again, mumma is far from pleased.

Aurora’s life is strange. She has many gentlemen callers who all vie for her attention, her love, her affection. Emma moves to Iowa with husband Flap Horton (Jeff Daniels) and pops out more kids. Mumma, once again, isn’t pleased but somehow Emma still remains a faithful daughter and they find a way to get along. Miracles do happen.

Things get sad, cold and depressing for Emma and she seeks comfort in the arms of an older married man (John Lithgow). Meanwhile the astronaut (Nicholson) living next door to Aurora irritates her so much she cannot stop thinking about him and they eventually go to lunch in his Porsche and nearly drown doing wild things on the beach.

Life gets really messy for our Emma whose marriage is on the rocks. Twists and turns, accusations and realisations. This is life, people. It’s going to get messy.

In the end, the kids are sad, the marriage is over and Emma gets sick. This is where you reach for your box of tissues and have a good weep.

I love the 80s feel to this film. From the soft focus of the first few scenes to the music, the fonts and the actors. It is mesmerisingly sad to watch a family fall apart. The pace is slow but the drama drags you in time after time. The final scenes are the Oscar winning moments. I was sure I wouldn’t cry, but being a mum with 2 kids, how could I not?

It is an easy film to watch. It’s not an epic but a great analysis of a mother and daughter’s relationship that survives even the toughest of times. Take a gander!

Terms of Endearment Trivia:

  • $8 Million
  • Apparently Debra Winger was unpredictable during filming because she was trying to give up a cocaine habit. To the point where she and MacLaine had a tussle. Roll cameras!?
  • Jodie Foster and Sissy Spacek were offered the role of Emma
  • After finishing this film, Director, Producer and Writer, James L.Brooks rewarded himself with a set of comics by Matt Groening. He loved them so much he asked Groening to pitch an idea for a series of shorts for The Tracy Ullman Show, which eventually led to The Simpsons.
  • Burt Reynolds, Paul Newman and Harrison Ford turned down the role of astronaut Garrett Breedlove.

From tears to tunes! Next time we’re watching Amadeus starring F.Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce and Elizabeth Berridge.

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One comment on “Best Picture – Terms of Endearment (1983)

  1. Pingback: 1983 Oscar Winners | Guide to be a winner

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