The Turning Point 1977 (1977) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: When her daughter joins a ballet company, a former dancer is forced to confront her long-ago decision to give up the stage to have a family. Runtime: 119 mins Release Date: 18 Nov 1977
Emma and Didi shine in this memorable film looking at the world of ballet. Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook et al of "The Red Shoes" of 1948 would have certainly been proud of it.The ballet sequences are marvelously staged and beautifully realized by the cast.Anne Bancroft and Shirley MacLaine received best actress nominations in their respective roles. It is when Leslie Browne, who was nominated for best supporting actress, becomes a ballerina, that her mother MacLaine looks back at the career she gave up for marriage and family. She meets her old friend and rival-Bancroft-who <more>
pursued her career at the expense of never marrying.Mikhail Baryshnikov, the great Russian ballet dancer, is fabulous here and was even nominated for best supporting actor."The Turning Point" received 11 Oscar nominations. It walked away with no awards. Was Hollywood's lack of culture shown here?
The Turning Point is still an enjoyable film almost 30 years after it was first released. The actors are all outstanding, as are the dancers, but the movie is stolen by ballet dancer Lesile Browne. Browne is only 19 in the film, but her dance skills are remarkable. Limited as an actress, yet she had a screen presence which made her enjoyable to watch.She looked stunning dancing in the studio, as her leg-warmers slid down her shapely legs, she is a vision of pure beauty. Amazing that Browne was not cast as a dancer in the movie FAME.The dance numbers are enjoyable, but unless you're a big <more>
fan of classical ballet, it may be somewhat boring. The male dancers all come across as very girlish, and the principal female stars very strong, a typical theme of some of the early 80s films.So, put on your on tights, yank your leg-warmers to your thigh, pop on your ballet slippers, and enjoy The Turning Point.
Winner Best Picture and Director Golden Globe and 11 Academy Award nominations is a tip. From a real-life story of primary star Leslie Browne longtime of the ABT the film follows Emilia's adoption into the company of ballet stars from a family of dancers who retired to have her. Shirley Maclaine's Best movie. Anne Bancroft is unbelievable as a ballet dancer not ready to give up the limelight but ready to steal her friend's thunder as the enabler of a great ballet career for Emilia. This a great movie. Watch for some great choreography by all the big names, plus the great plus <more>
Alvin Ailey, and a shop window of ballet greats. Baryshnikov in his prime, Martins and Merrill on the side, Great editing, cinematography, the whole shebang.
Sure it's a soap opera, but it's an extremely entertaining one. (by GMJames)
I had no knowledge or interest in ballet before viewing The Turning Point on HBO about a year after it was first released to theaters. The HBO promotions department concentrated more on the cat fight between Shirley MacLaine and Anne Bancroft and less on the numerous ballet dances. I thought it was going to be an unintentional laugh riot. Boy, was I wrong.MacLaine and Bancroft as former dance rivals do a great job separately and together. You sense the history of both characters and the issues that have colored the decisions they made. MacLaine's character, Deedee, getting pregnant and <more>
leaving the ballet company, while with Bancroft's character, Emma, the veteran prima ballerina who never married and struggles to stay a ballerina not knowing when or how to gracefully end her career.Director Herbert Ross and screenwriter Arthur Laurents conceived an interesting, albeit thin, story within the backdrop of ballet. The lead actresses and the supporting cast, including James Mitchell, Anthony Zerbe, Tom Skerritt as MacLaine's husband and especially Martha Scott as the blunt, money-minded owner of the ballet company, do a very good job and, in some ways, improve on the material given to them.As far as the ballet dancers in acting roles, well they are great dancers. To be fair, hiring anyone with little or no acting experience and expect them to act in a major movie for the first time would be a challenge for anyone. Leslie Browne, as Emilia, Deedee's oldest who is in the process of becoming the next prima ballerina, had a very tough task and, when it came to the dialog, I thought she did as good a job as she could. But when she was in her element, namely in the dance studio and on stage, she was wonderful. It's a shame that actress/former ballerina Neve Campbell was only four years old when The Turning Point was first released. Acting-wise, Campbell would have been a more convincing Emilia. But I digress. Mikhail Baryshnikov fared much better as the main male ballet dancer/Lothario. He oozed charisma on screen and his jumps on stage are breathtaking. Years after The Turning Point, he has done some decent work in White Nights on screen and Sex and the City on television.Interestingly, out of all of the non-professional actors, I thought Alexandra Danilova, who played Emilia's ballet teacher, gave the most natural and less stilted performance. She seemed very comfortable essentially playing herself. I have a feeling that it has a lot to do with her real ballet experience of over 50 years when the film was released in 1977.The last time I viewed The Turning Point was in 2005. The material is still pretty thin but I do believe that if it wasn't for the strong performances acting and dancing the film would not hold up after all these years.
Dee Dee Rodgers Shirley MacLaine is a teacher/mother/wife with a passion for ballet who actually gave up being a prima ballerina to be a mother/wife. Emma Jacklin Anne Bancroft was Dee Dee's best friend, and a successful ballerina in a company in New York. Emilia Leslie Browne is Dee Dee's daughter, with as much passion for ballet as her mother, but at the same time a want to be loved. After being accepted to the company, Emilia, Dee Dee, and Dee Dee's son Ethan travel to New York so that Ethan and Emilia can be in ballet. Dee Dee looks back at her choice to be a mother and <more>
wife, and begins to regret that she had children and didn't become a star ballerina like Emma. Emma looks at her choice to be a star ballerina, and wishes that she was more like Dee Dee as being a mother and wife. The key word here, JEALOUSY. Big time. Emma basically tries to take over Dee Dee's place as Emilia's mother, while Dee Dee finds an old flame, Rosie, and "stays the night" over at his place. Meanwhile, Emilia is falling in love with her co-star ballerina, the wonderful Yuri Mikhail B.something or other . These happenings separate, and eventually bring together after a drop-dead hilarious fight between MacLaine and Bancroft everybody involved. A really touching, really sweet, and full of beautiful dancing movie, which will have you looking back at your life, and realizing that you don't have enough time on earth for regret and jealousy.
This is a wonderful film for anyone who enjoys ballet. The dance parts and practices are really breath taking, especially those of Baryshnikov. The story is not bad either; you can see how a ballerina feels when her life on the stage ends at the age of about 35, or one who sacrifices that life to have children but regrets that all her life. I think the film is really great, especially the ballet.
Essential for dance lovers. (by pswanson00)
After my 26th time watching The Turning Point I stopped counting my viewings. Some viewers might say it's not a tightly-written drama, and I don't care. For anyone who's ever enjoyed a dance performance, this is a must-see...or must-OWN. Mikhail Baryshnikov, recently-defected and at the absolute peak of his extrahuman abilities, is nothing short of breathtaking in this film. The first time he's shown dancing in the rehearsal studio invariably takes away my ability to breathe.I also admit that I like the stories which provide the framework for the dance performances. When The <more>
Turning Point was originally released, I was about to turn 30. Now bumping my head on 60, I've seen the decisions, transitions, and forks in life's road which face all the film's characters, and have a much greater appreciation for the truth of the film. Shirley MacLaine, Anne Bancroft, Tom Skerrit, and Anthony Zerbe are, as we'd expect, excellent. The 18-year-old Leslie Browne is lovely, and a fine dancer. I'm particularly fond of Alexandra Danilova, one of ballet's immortals, as the matriarchal Madame Dhakarova. In the scene where she's coaching a much-younger woman on the Don Quixote pas de deux, she performs the role not only more correctly, but also more playfully and flirtatiously than her student. It's a treat to see. I love dance see review of All That Jazz , and I admit my bias freely. In addition to spectacular dance performances, there are good, human stories behind the 70's clothing and hair styles, so watch this film at least once and decide for yourself whether you'll see it again.
A Must for Dance Lovers and Lovers of Great Actresses (by ijonesiii)
Ballet has never really been user friendly subject matter for movie box office potential but 1977's THE TURNING POINT was remarkable exception to that school of thought. Not only did this film preserve on screen some of the most beautiful ballet dancing ever scene forever, but it brought two Hollywood icons together for the first time who both turned in the Oscar-nominated performances of their careers. As a matter of fact, this is one of two films in Oscar history THE COLOR PURPLE being the other that was nominated for 11 Oscars but didn't win a single award. Nonetheless, it is <more>
still a compelling and riveting melodrama which uses ballet as its backdrop. The film focuses on two women, Emma Jacklin Anne Bancroft and Deedee Rodgers Shirley MacLaine who were both in the same ballet company many, many years ago and were competing for the lead in a new ballet when Deedee became pregnant and Emma got the role and this is way their relationship forked and their lives went separate ways. Deedee got married to a dancer in the company Tom Skerritt had three children and runs a dance studio now, but part of her still yearns to be a prima ballerina. Emma became the prima ballerina that Deedee wanted to be; however, Emma's life is all about work now...she takes class, she dances, and she goes home to her dogs. When Emma's dance company comes to Deedee's town, they are reunited and both begin to quietly choices that they made. Thrown into the mix is Amelia real life prima ballerina Leslie Browne , Deedee's daughter who may be a better dancer than her mother ever was and Emma begins to groom and pulls strings to get her in the company which causes further resentment from Deedee. This movie is about choices, regrets, crushed dreams, and dreams fulfilled. Bancroft and MacLaine turn in grand performances and the dancing of ballet superstar Mikhail Barysnakov and Leslie Browne is outstanding even though every time Browne opens her mouth you want to stuff a sock in it. A beautiful melodrama anchored by supreme performances by two of the best actresses in the business.
an eloquent character drama and a synesthetic feast for ballet aficionados (by lasttimeisaw)
1977 was a banner year for Herbert Ross, two pictures he directed are among Oscar's five BEST PICTURE nominees, one is THE GOODBYE GIRL 1977 , with 5 nominations and 1 win for Richard Dreyfuss and another is this one, the balletic drama, THE TURNING POINT, received a whopping 11 nominations but went home empty-handed a record later shared with Steven Spielberg's THE COLOR PURPLE 1985 , and in hindsight, becomes the most overachiever apropos of Oscar nominations. DeeDee MacLaine and Emma Bancroft go way back when they are ballerinas-and-best-friends, the former jilted her budding <more>
career and got married with dancer Wayne Skerritt after she was preggy just when she and Emma were both up for the cardinal role in Anna Karenina. Due to DeeDee's dropout, Emma procured the role and has remained as a prima ballerina for the company ever since, meantime DeeDee and Wayne moved to Oklahoma City and run a dance studio, raising their three kids. Years later, when DeeDee's firstborn Emilia Browne is old enough to be picked up by the same dance company, do DeeDee and Emma's separated life orbits begin to converge, Emma has been devoted herself entirely to her career, unmarried and childless, what she has achieved is quite something in this feeding-frenzy and extremely ageism line-of-business, but over-the-hill is a word she cannot temporize any longer at that turning point, she confides to DeeDee that her body has compromised even though her spirit is still high on dancing. As for DeeDee, all these years she has been mulling over whether her decision of quitting is the right choice, and one particularly pestering thought that Emma might have intentionally advised her to get married when she was pregnant with Emilia, so that Emma could snatch that role which paved the way of her subsequent ascendance to the top tier, and pathologically wonders whether she was good enough to be picked over Emma if she had stayed. Life doesn't offer us regret pills, and there is no what-ifs in reality, the film at its heart is a benevolent melodrama carrying an earnest women-skewing agenda: the family-or-career option, one can only choose one and fantasize the other, as most things in our lives, either option has its rewards and disappointment, if you get too possessed with the other option you didn't choose, there will only be torment and frustration, that is what differentiates DeeDee and Emma and grants the latter a more laudable characteristic arc, unlike DeeDee's self-inflicted doubt of her unfulfilled dream which leads her to make several wrong choices in life too , Emma is decisive and not lingers on the past, she exemplifies a liberated woman who is unbridled by conventionality, she knows crystal clear what she wants, and is not incapable of live down the gnawing dissatisfaction, this mirrored dichotomy - both live the life the other has forsaken, is superbly deployed as a conceit to draw out stellar performances from Ms. Bancroft and Ms. MacLaine, who can ginger up mediocre fodder into entrancing emotional powerhouse, culminating in their unapologetically campy cat- fight, it is those moments remind us why we are so hopelessly in love with melodramas, because watching thespians go gung-ho like that induces endogenous thrill and pleasure in spite of what drives them are usually tales of woes. Both ladies are Oscar-nominated, but it is Bancroft who gets the upper hand with a more interesting character and she radiates with undivided warmth and empathy also, she knows how to fake hiccups. , but she has her feet of clay, notwithstanding that she is strikingly emaciated, her comportment and posture is not convincing as a real seasoned dancer. The film cunningly bypasses any real terpsichorean arrangement for her aside from several default exercise scenes. On the downside, the subplot surrounding Emilia's ill-fated romance with the dancer-cum-playboy Yuri Baryshnikov lacks any traction apart from the fact that both are excellent dancing pros, a feat so magnificently beguiling that it spawned two coattail Oscar nominations for both first-timers, a stark case indicates that Oscar is often less perspicacious than we think it is, another horrendous one is Jennifer Hudson in Bill Condon's DREAMGIRLS 2006 , a terrific singer but very broad-stroke acting bent through and through, and she won! Both Tom Skerritt and Martha Scott as the money- seeking head of the company bring out meatier presences and are far worthier picks if the Academy was really bent on giving some subservient nominations. For my personal taste, THE TURNING POINT can be easily ensconced in my guilty pleasure list, but deemed with a more critical eye, it still can be worshiped as an eloquent character drama unsparingly allows its players to shine over the unostentatious cinematic techniques, and a synesthetic feast for ballet aficionados.