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      Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams

      PG Released Oct 21, 1973 1h 33m Drama List
      Reviews 19% Audience Score 100+ Ratings Middle-aged, middle-class New Yorker Rita Walden (Joanne Woodward), already prone to depression and nightmares, is thrown into an emotional tailspin by the sudden death of her mother (Sylvia Sidney). Settling her mother's estate dredges up memories of her idyllic childhood on the family farm, and of her adolescent crush on one of the farm workers, a painful contrast to her strained relationships with her two grown children and her war-haunted optometrist husband, Harry (Martin Balsam). Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (3) Critics Reviews
      Tony Mastroianni Cleveland Press The whole thing is rather jerky. The sensitivity is in the performances but seldom anywhere else. Apr 3, 2019 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com The midlife crisis of a bourgeois housewife is the center of this domestic melodrama, which flaunts the Oscar-nominated turns of Joanne Woodward in the lead and Sylvia Sidney as her tyrannical mother, whose death precipitates major family crises. Rated: B Aug 1, 2008 Full Review Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat Spirituality & Practice Presents the midlife crisis of a New York housewife whose two children have grown up and left home. Sep 1, 2002 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (12) audience reviews
      Rob C This is a wonderful portrait of a middle-aged woman struggling to reconcile her life's disappointments. Woodward is at turns exasperating, hilarious, and trying so hard. The script is brilliant, witty and sad. "She used to leave hair on the soap", is how she summed up her sister. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 06/06/23 Full Review Cameron M A pretty directionless film about a subject, a depressed housewife, that seemed to be very popular in the 1970s but is very dated now. After watching other 1970s family drama films, such as Diary of a Mad Housewife, An Unmarried Woman and The Happy Ending, they all seem to blur together and to make matters worse Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams film does nothing new in the genre. The acting, like those other films, is what makes it stand out to a degree but that really isn't enough for me to stay invested in the film. The script and the direction of the film is pretty bad. The film doesn't know what subject matter to focus on so we go from sorting out the mother's estate to reminiscing about World War II with regrets about Woodward's character's son being inter-spliced throughout the film. The problem is that these subjects are never satisfyingly explored and go nowhere by the end of the film. Woodward and Sweeney give good performances as do the rest of the cast and were nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively. Out of the nominees I have watched for Best Actress for that year, I don't believe Woodward's performance was as strong as the phenomenal Ellen Burstyn in The Exorcist or Marsha Mason in Cinderella Liberty. I also don't believe Sweeney's performance was as good as Tatum O'Neal (the winner) or Madeline Kahn's performances in Paper Moon or Linda Blair's amazing performance in The Exorcist. Overall, a forgettable, dated and directionless film with good performances but a story that's been done to death before and done better since. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 05/18/23 Full Review s r I'm not a fan of Woodward. I saw it for the NYC aspect and was let down. Saw it on TCM. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review steve d It works no better than the 100s of other times its been done. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Another example of early ‘70s "New York" cinema: emphasis on psychodrama, intense family emotions, complicated relationships. Slow at times, static direction, but honest performances. A chore. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Audience Member Not uplifting but good drama here, Joanne Woodward never disappoints. She is a middle-aged housewife in NYC, married to World War 2 veteran Martin Balsam. When her mother passes away suddenly she begins to re-examine her life. There are no easy answers here, or "deux ex ma-china" moments wherein everything is solved and life goes on with a saccharine smile. As a couple, Balsam and Woodward are believable here, in a stab at saving his marriage Balsam suggests a trip to Europe. There are some interesting flashbacks here as he recalls the 1940's when he was a 20 year old soldier killing other 20 year old at the Battle of Ardennes. The scenery is evocative and atmospheric. Both are estranged from their lives, and children, but somehow manage to hold on. Woodward is always empathic, her scene as she has a quiet breakdown in the subway while remembering her deceased mother is believable.Both Woodward and Sidney were Oscar nominated for best actress and supporting actress respectively. Mercifully, they both lost.The fact remains that life has enough frustrations and even though dying is a part of it, we don't need the constant reminder. Get a life Ms. Woodward. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/02/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Middle-aged, middle-class New Yorker Rita Walden (Joanne Woodward), already prone to depression and nightmares, is thrown into an emotional tailspin by the sudden death of her mother (Sylvia Sidney). Settling her mother's estate dredges up memories of her idyllic childhood on the family farm, and of her adolescent crush on one of the farm workers, a painful contrast to her strained relationships with her two grown children and her war-haunted optometrist husband, Harry (Martin Balsam).
      Director
      Gilbert Cates
      Producer
      Jack Brodsky
      Distributor
      Columbia Pictures
      Production Co
      Rastar Pictures
      Rating
      PG
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Oct 21, 1973, Original
      Release Date (DVD)
      Apr 13, 2011
      Runtime
      1h 33m