No. 9 ~ SHIRLEY MACLAINE in “The Terms of Endearment” (Aurora Greenwood)
It is 1983 and Shirley Maclaine, now beginning her third decade of filmmaking gives an oscar caliber performance that would endure her even more to her already adoring fans and also introduce her to a whole new generation of film-goers. With her portrayal of Aurora Greenway, an emotional, anxious yet demure widowed mother of an only child, Emma, played expertly by Debra Winger, Shirley shines like never before. The movie spans an almost 30 year period in which you learn the relationship of this mother and daughter, and how their relationship with one another, even though at times strained and almost a love/hate type combination, effects all other relationships and effects how you deal with all that life throws at you. As in life, the unexpected happens when Emma is diagnosed with a malignant tumor that eventually is fatal. This turns the mother once again into the ferocious lioness that will stop at nothing to take care of her child, and defend and protect her, only to become exhausted and helpless when all is said and done. The emotional roller coaster she rides in this film is neck wrenching. Shirley gives her entire being, body and soul into this role, and you can feel her anguish and despair as she realizes she can no longer control the outcome of her daughters situation.
Aurora Greenway, there is one in every family, I know there is one in mine. That aunt or sister that is loving and caring, yet so brutally honest it sometimes cuts into like a two-edged sword, but you realize it’s true and there is no denying it. Shirley was phenomenal in this role and when the award for Best Actress was given, there was no question.