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The Turning Point  [DVD]
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Oscar-nominated drama starring Shirley MacLaine and Anne Bancroft. As young dancers, they were best friends and fierce rivals. Deedee (MacLaine) left the stage for marriage and motherhood while Emma (Bancroft) would become an international ballet icon. When Deedee's teenage daughter (Leslie Browne) is invited to join Emma's dance company and begins an affair with a young Russian star (Mikhail Baryshnikov), the two women are forced to confront the choices they've made, the resentments they've hidden and the emotional truths they must face.
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Anne Bancroft and Shirley Maclaine, stalwarts of the film acting world, add vigour and depth to what is, essentially, a family film for matinee viewing. Bancroft plays the fading, but still dedicated, ballerina who has given up everything, especially family and children, for The Dance. Maclaine is her opposite who did give up her dancing for her family. But her daughter, played with exquisite loveliness by Lesley Browne of the American Ballet Theatre, is to prove that her sacrifice was not in vain.
Mikhail Baryshnikov in his film debut enhances the film to heights of wonder with his magnificent dancing and he proves he can act a little in his delightful scenes with the ingenue but ambitious young fledgling dancer.
The best parts of the film are, obviously, the fabulous dancing, the best of which is the pas de deux from Don Quixote with Baryshnikov's leaps simply stunning.
Recommended for both Maclaine and Bancroft in fine style and for Baryshnikov's and Browne's beautiful dancing.
If you love ballet, this is the movie for you and if you don't love it, maybe you will after watching it. The dance scenes are simply magnificent; Leslie Browne, who plays Deedee's daughter, is a lovely dancer (though not a strong actress) and she is paired with the stunning Mikhail Baryshnikov who is charisma personified. MacLaine and Bancroft are old pros and play well off each other. The regal Bancroft doesn't actually dance but looks like a dancer and always owns the screen. MacLaine's character is whiny and at first doesn't appreciate how good her life is. The two ladies are well-matched and fun to watch; all four lead actors received Oscar nods (and the movie was nominated 11 times in total).
This is a movie that will surely inspire many little ballerinas. The mix of classical ballet and sudsy soap opera is a good one. Recommended.
The main actress acts pretty awfully from my point of view, but dances peacefully and nice, the we have marvellous Baryshnikov who never disappoints. This is one of his first moves if not the first. In all its a nice film to watch, and to inspire you.
A very satisfactory film, which I have seen several times. I even bought a second copy as agift to a good friend.
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