The Turning Point Reviews
I suppose that the highlights of this film are the ballet sequences, which are well-choreographed and visually fun to watch. But these sequences do nothing to advance the story or the film's characters; they divert the film's focus. Deedee, played by Shirley MacLaine, is the center of the film's main conflict, and Deedee must reconcile her choice - to settle down and have a family rather than compete against Emma, played by Anne Bancroft, for professional success. Despite scenes in which Deedee looks on enviously as her daughter achieves the success she never did, this conflict just sits in the background, and there aren't many moments in which we see Deedee working to resolve the conflict. The affair subplot is lame and poorly presented, and the final fight between Emma and Deedee resolves like a bad Lifetime movie - illogical, maudlin, and wracked with a bond between women that nobody could understand or believe.
Overall, if you like ballet, skip the poor excuse for a plot between the dance scenes.
Putting these issues aside, there are some very likable things about this film. Mikhail Baryshnikov is stunningly attractive and breathtakingly athletic. It is dazzling to watch him. The basic premise of the film is sound, if a little predictable, and if the whole abortion idea had been replaced with something more plausible, it might have achieved the subtlety it needed to be a great movie.
A nicely acted and well-made drama that might be a little dull at times, but overall offers some nicely drawn characters.
Years ago Deedee, played by Shirley MacLaine, gave up her dream to become a ballerina in New York City for a life as a mother and teacher in Oklahoma. Her friend, Emma (Anne Bancroft) sticks with and becomes a dancing legend. Years later Deedee's daughter, Emilia, has decided to pursue a ballet dancing career. Emma and Deedee are reunited in New York as Emilia tries to make it.
The dancing segments are beautiully constructed and MacLaine and Bancroft are excellent. The story is good, but lacks momentum.