Terms of endearment

Paramount Pictures Corp. ; produced and directed by James L. Brooks ; screenplay by James L. Brooks.

Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger playing a combative mother and daughter who see each other through various ups and downs in love and loss, and most especially through a terminal illness endured by Winger's character. Jack Nicholson deservedly won an Oscar for his supporting role as a free-spirited astronaut who backs away from a romance with MacLaine and then returns in the clutch. As he always does, Brooks keeps things from getting too soapy with his intense concentration on the soulful evolution of his characters. --Tom Keogh


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