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“A lovely and loving book.”—Will Schwalbe, New York Times bestselling author of The End of Your Life Book Club "I'm not sure I have ever read a book about movies that is as tender and open-hearted as Films of Endearment."—Mark Harris, New York Times bestselling author of Mike Nichols: A Life   A poignant memoir of family, grief and resilience about a young man, his dynamic mo “A lovely and loving book.”—Will Schwalbe, New York Times bestselling author of The End of Your Life Book Club "I'm not sure I have ever read a book about movies that is as tender and open-hearted as Films of Endearment."—Mark Harris, New York Times bestselling author of Mike Nichols: A Life   A poignant memoir of family, grief and resilience about a young man, his dynamic mother and the '80s movies they shared together   Michael Koresky's most formative memories were simple ones. A movie rental. A mug of tea. And a few shared hours with his mother. Years later and now a successful film critic, Koresky set out on a journey with his mother to discover more about their shared cinematic past. They rewatched ten films that she first introduced to him as a child, one from every year of the '80s, each featuring women leads. Together, films as divergent as 9 to 5, Terms of Endearment, The Color Purple and Aliens form the story of an era that Koresky argues should rightly be called "The Decade of the Actress." Films of Endearment is a reappraisal of the most important and popular female-driven films of that time, a profound meditation on loss and resilience, and a celebration of the special bond between mothers and their sons.


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“A lovely and loving book.”—Will Schwalbe, New York Times bestselling author of The End of Your Life Book Club "I'm not sure I have ever read a book about movies that is as tender and open-hearted as Films of Endearment."—Mark Harris, New York Times bestselling author of Mike Nichols: A Life   A poignant memoir of family, grief and resilience about a young man, his dynamic mo “A lovely and loving book.”—Will Schwalbe, New York Times bestselling author of The End of Your Life Book Club "I'm not sure I have ever read a book about movies that is as tender and open-hearted as Films of Endearment."—Mark Harris, New York Times bestselling author of Mike Nichols: A Life   A poignant memoir of family, grief and resilience about a young man, his dynamic mother and the '80s movies they shared together   Michael Koresky's most formative memories were simple ones. A movie rental. A mug of tea. And a few shared hours with his mother. Years later and now a successful film critic, Koresky set out on a journey with his mother to discover more about their shared cinematic past. They rewatched ten films that she first introduced to him as a child, one from every year of the '80s, each featuring women leads. Together, films as divergent as 9 to 5, Terms of Endearment, The Color Purple and Aliens form the story of an era that Koresky argues should rightly be called "The Decade of the Actress." Films of Endearment is a reappraisal of the most important and popular female-driven films of that time, a profound meditation on loss and resilience, and a celebration of the special bond between mothers and their sons.

30 review for Films of Endearment: A Mother, a Son and the '80s Films That Defined Us

  1. 4 out of 5

    Glenn Sumi

    I love the idea of this book – a hybrid work of memoir and film criticism – and there are some brilliant observations in it, but something didn't quite work for me. Film critic and programmer Michael Koresky decides to rewatch 10 films from the 1980s with his mother, Leslie. These aren't testosterone-fueled 80s actioners like Terminator 2 or Die Hard, although Michael certainly saw those on VHS while growing up in his middle-class Jewish home in a town outside Boston. Instead, they're female-cent I love the idea of this book – a hybrid work of memoir and film criticism – and there are some brilliant observations in it, but something didn't quite work for me. Film critic and programmer Michael Koresky decides to rewatch 10 films from the 1980s with his mother, Leslie. These aren't testosterone-fueled 80s actioners like Terminator 2 or Die Hard, although Michael certainly saw those on VHS while growing up in his middle-class Jewish home in a town outside Boston. Instead, they're female-centred films about character, social structures and politics. And each one helped mother and son bond and understand each other over the years. Koresky calls the 80s "the decade of the actress," and he's got a point. This was a period, after all, that featured indelible, iconic performances by the likes of Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, Sissy Spacek, Glenn Close, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathleen Turner, Debra Winger, Jessica Lange, Sally Field, Cher, Geena Davis, Holly Hunter, Michelle Pfeiffer... and more. "Most of [these actresses]," he writes in the book's introduction, "were in their thirties and forties without being forced to succumb to matronly, desexualized roles, choosing parts that were full, rich, complex, and frequently politically engaged." You just don't see these types of roles these days (unless it's on cable TV), nor this kind of mid-budget filmmaking. The way he discusses the films – which include everything from ahead-of-its-time workplace comedy 9 to 5 (1980) to clear-eyed heartland drama Country (one of three farm-themed films in 1984) to the rare female-driven action film Aliens (1986) – is frequently brilliant. And he puts the achievements of all the players in well-researched context. I was particularly fascinated by the way he discussed journalists talking about Michelle Pfeiffer's beauty upon the release of The Fabulous Baker Boys (his 1989 selection) and the connection between star Amy Irving's husband, Steven Spielberg, and producing the wonderful Jewish-themed romantic comedy Crossing Delancey (his 1988 selection). Watching movies is a very personal experience; we learn so much from them, and discussing them with friends and family is a way to understand ourselves and the world around us. Koresky makes sharp observations about the importance of the trans character in Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (the book's 1982 selection) and his own coming out as a young queer man. I found his reflections on being childless – and the fact that his family line would end with him and his brother – quite moving in his chapter on the Diane Keaton comedy Baby Boom (1987). And the chapter on his mother's efforts to break through the glass ceiling in her own work were quite fitting when talking about 9 to 5. Their series of rewatchings is interrupted near the end by COVID-19, which adds some poignancy. But many of the connections between his and his mother's lives and the films feel contrived. Sure, his mom Leslie – it would have been nice to tell us why he calls his parents by their first names – has always been an avid reader, but that feels like such a tenuous connection in the chapter on The Color Purple (his 1985 selection), which of course is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Alice Walker novel. And I could have done without Koresky's banal descriptions of practicing piano and playing classics from the American Songbook, his segue into The Fabulous Baker Boys. Shuttling between personal life and movie can often feel awkward, too, especially when Koresky talks about himself in the third person. His writing, while mostly clear, intelligent and persuasive, is occasionally clunky: "The gender disparities and segregations endemic to these offices remain indelible to her." Ouch. Still, there's lots to admire in these pages, and whenever Koresky discusses the films themselves and their wider social, aesthetic and political contexts, I was fully absorbed. It's made me want to revisit many of them – even The Color Purple, which I've never found convincing – to see how they measure up and affect me years after first watching them.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    Memoir about son watching certain films with his Mom in the 80’s. 3.5 rounded up to 4.0. Interest for this book started with films, especially classics from the 30-40's. The films the author shared with his Mom during the 80's were a connection for my love of films and I'm sure with other readers' as well. While I enjoyed the commentary about the films there seemed to be lots of information concerning the author's travel, transportation, etc. that seemed trivial. Also felt the book was a little u Memoir about son watching certain films with his Mom in the 80’s. 3.5 rounded up to 4.0. Interest for this book started with films, especially classics from the 30-40's. The films the author shared with his Mom during the 80's were a connection for my love of films and I'm sure with other readers' as well. While I enjoyed the commentary about the films there seemed to be lots of information concerning the author's travel, transportation, etc. that seemed trivial. Also felt the book was a little unorganized and choppy but that may change with more editing. The overall idea of the topic is good, just needs to pull it in tighter.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    This is a sentimental 5 stars because in all likelihood, I will never again come across a memoir that so surprisingly parallels my own life, the relationship that I have with my mother and our combined love of films. My dream goal is to write and publish the Asian version of this book, send it to Michael Koresky, and eventually meet and have a laugh, acknowledging that we are in so many ways the same person. Full confession: I too used to drag my parents to every video store we came across when t This is a sentimental 5 stars because in all likelihood, I will never again come across a memoir that so surprisingly parallels my own life, the relationship that I have with my mother and our combined love of films. My dream goal is to write and publish the Asian version of this book, send it to Michael Koresky, and eventually meet and have a laugh, acknowledging that we are in so many ways the same person. Full confession: I too used to drag my parents to every video store we came across when traveling to prowl the aisles for previously viewed VHS and later DVD titles - also it was part of the Friday routine that Mom would borrow a stack of videos from the local library or rent from the video store and Friday night was movie night - to this day we still talk about those films! So sublimely happy that this book exists - I know what I’m getting my Mom for Christmas :)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    This is not really about the 1980s films but rather about a mother-son connection that transcends the discussions about characters and plots. Koresky and his mother started to rewatch 80s movies after his father died and these served as a launch pad for them to share things things they didn't discuss at the time. They chose 10 movies, all of which featured women and talked about what they meant to each of them. Oh how well I remember these! I do think, btw, that this will be more meaningful if y This is not really about the 1980s films but rather about a mother-son connection that transcends the discussions about characters and plots. Koresky and his mother started to rewatch 80s movies after his father died and these served as a launch pad for them to share things things they didn't discuss at the time. They chose 10 movies, all of which featured women and talked about what they meant to each of them. Oh how well I remember these! I do think, btw, that this will be more meaningful if you recall the plot and characters (how can I forget the unforgivable clothes in Working Girl or anything about 9 t0 5? Poor Jeff Daniels will always be Flap to me!). It's hard, sometimes, to review memoirs because it feels as though you are judging someone's life or life choices but that's not the case here. It's a thoughtful look at Koresky's understanding of himself, among other things. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. A very good read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Date reviewed/posted: December 31, 2020 Publication date: May 4, 2021 When life for the entire universe and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us, AND the worst sciatica attack in your life means you MIGHT sleep 3 hours a night, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from Date reviewed/posted: December 31, 2020 Publication date: May 4, 2021 When life for the entire universe and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us, AND the worst sciatica attack in your life means you MIGHT sleep 3 hours a night, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. A poignant memoir of family, grief and resilience about a young man, his dynamic mother and the 80s movies they shared together Michael Koresky’s most formative memories were simple ones. A movie rental. A bowl of popcorn. And a few shared hours with his mother. Through the films they watched together, he gained insight into his mother’s perspective and the values she hoped to instill. Decades later and now a successful film critic, Koresky set out on a journey with his mother to discover more about their shared cinematic past. They rewatched ten films, one from every year of the Ô80s, each featuring women in leading roles. Films like 9 to 5, Terms of Endearment, The Color Purple and Working Girl played a powerful role in Michael’s developing consciousness as a gay man and helped solidify an unspoken bond between mother and son. Blending memoir, film criticism and cultural history, Films of Endearment is a reappraisal of the most important and popular female-driven films of the era, a profound meditation on loss and resilience, and a celebration of the special bond between mothers and their sons. Having seen most of the movies in this book, I expected to like this book: I didn't - it started of choppily and all over the place and stayed that way. I appreciated some of what was said but it just didn't "click" with me. As a librarian, if I do not learn something new or get engaged in the characters, I make a decision: I did not truly read/finish the book (I skimmed through it) as there are too many good ones out there to read and review. That also applies to just being a lover of books --- if it isn't interesting, on to the next one!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    In this charming and moving mix of memoir and movie appreciation, film critic Michael Koresky (Terence Davies) and his mother, Leslie, decide to meet monthly to rewatch and discuss films from the 1980s with strong women in leading roles. Ten films: one for each year of the decade. Each film brings up memories from their lives. "Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean" reminds Koresky of coming out and how the lack of gay characters in films from his youth made him feel invisible. "For m In this charming and moving mix of memoir and movie appreciation, film critic Michael Koresky (Terence Davies) and his mother, Leslie, decide to meet monthly to rewatch and discuss films from the 1980s with strong women in leading roles. Ten films: one for each year of the decade. Each film brings up memories from their lives. "Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean" reminds Koresky of coming out and how the lack of gay characters in films from his youth made him feel invisible. "For me, movies were an escape, not a mirror," he writes. Both watch "Mommie Dearest" as if it were a comedy, but their conversation turns more serious when they discuss how the film hobbled Faye Dunaway's career (and how female stars are often counted out after one flop while male stars are not). And Leslie remembers childhood abuse from her mother. "Terms of Endearment" brings back memories of Koresky's father's early onset dementia and how the family dealt with their grief over his early death. Not all the movies bring up traumatic memories. The Jane Fonda-produced comedy "9 to 5" brings back anecdotes of Leslie rejoining the workforce. It's also fascinating to discover that despite the film's feminist leanings, screenwriter Patricia Resnick was all but pushed out of the production process once the film's male director was hired. Other films include "The Color Purple", "Aliens", "Baby Boom", "Country", "Crossing Delancey" and "The Fabulous Baker Boys." FILMS OF ENDEARMENT is an empowering, surprising and unforgettable tribute to strong women in films--and in the audience. Memoir and movie appreciation merge in this unforgettable and moving tale of a mother and son reliving their past by rewatching favorite films from the 1980s.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carmen Liffengren

    4.5 Stars Films of Endearment is Koresky's moving love letter to his mother told through the lens of film. Film was the conduit that Koresky and his mother, Leslie, connected and communicated deeper thoughts. He highlights a decade of films with strong female protagonists and how much the strong women of movies like 9 to 5, Terms of Endearment, Aliens, Country, Steel Magnolias, and Crossing Delancey impacted him and help shape his own sexual identity. Koresky chose one film for each year of the d 4.5 Stars Films of Endearment is Koresky's moving love letter to his mother told through the lens of film. Film was the conduit that Koresky and his mother, Leslie, connected and communicated deeper thoughts. He highlights a decade of films with strong female protagonists and how much the strong women of movies like 9 to 5, Terms of Endearment, Aliens, Country, Steel Magnolias, and Crossing Delancey impacted him and help shape his own sexual identity. Koresky chose one film for each year of the decade from 1980-1989 and makes a compelling case for a decade of pivotal women's performances while learning much about his own mother's strength.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Heather Hach-Hearne

    This book struck me in my solar plexus (I think that's a thing). I always say my family didn't go to church but we did go to the movies. This honest memoir is a gorgeous rumination on growing up and how cinema is the balm we need, a true mirror for life. Michael Koresky is a fantastic writer and he selected films that meant so much to me growing up too - and now I understand better why I'm so obsessed with "Mommie Dearest" (beyond the obvious). I will also forever quote him - when people complai This book struck me in my solar plexus (I think that's a thing). I always say my family didn't go to church but we did go to the movies. This honest memoir is a gorgeous rumination on growing up and how cinema is the balm we need, a true mirror for life. Michael Koresky is a fantastic writer and he selected films that meant so much to me growing up too - and now I understand better why I'm so obsessed with "Mommie Dearest" (beyond the obvious). I will also forever quote him - when people complain about folks who talk about movies too much, they fail to realize we're not just speaking film. We're discussing life. Bravo!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Not my fav on audiobook. Loved that he honored his mother with it, but it was more about his sexuality then his relationship with his mother. And while that helped me understand his struggle as a gay/queer young man, it seemed as though that wasn't supposed to be the focus when you read the book jacket. Not my fav on audiobook. Loved that he honored his mother with it, but it was more about his sexuality then his relationship with his mother. And while that helped me understand his struggle as a gay/queer young man, it seemed as though that wasn't supposed to be the focus when you read the book jacket.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Schultz

    Read if you: Want an engaging, sweet, and heartening memoir of a mother-son relationship and their bond through their love of movies. I suspect Micharl Koresky and I are within a few years of each other; I remember many of these movies. I enjoyed his take on such movies such as 9 to 5, Baby Boom, and the like. It definitely helps if you are familiar with these movies; for the few that I hadn't, my interest did dip a bit. But what kept my interest was his endearing relationship with his mother an Read if you: Want an engaging, sweet, and heartening memoir of a mother-son relationship and their bond through their love of movies. I suspect Micharl Koresky and I are within a few years of each other; I remember many of these movies. I enjoyed his take on such movies such as 9 to 5, Baby Boom, and the like. It definitely helps if you are familiar with these movies; for the few that I hadn't, my interest did dip a bit. But what kept my interest was his endearing relationship with his mother and rediscovering new things about her life and interests. Librarians/booksellers: Purchase for readers who want LGBTQ+ memoirs that feature a happy parent-child relationship. Many thanks to Harlequin and NetGalley for a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    As a movie lover, I should love a nonfiction book about movies from the 1980s and, although I didn't "love" this book, I did enjoy it, with reservations. The 40-something NYC film critic/gay man/author joins his 70-something Jewish mother from outside Boston as they re-watch films from the 1980s that they originally watched when the author was a child. Each chapter covers a single film from each year in the decade. I think I was hoping for more information about the movies and less about their l As a movie lover, I should love a nonfiction book about movies from the 1980s and, although I didn't "love" this book, I did enjoy it, with reservations. The 40-something NYC film critic/gay man/author joins his 70-something Jewish mother from outside Boston as they re-watch films from the 1980s that they originally watched when the author was a child. Each chapter covers a single film from each year in the decade. I think I was hoping for more information about the movies and less about their lives together, but the subtitle of "A Mother, a Son and the 80s Films that Defined Us" does give a hint of what is to come. The author's personal struggles with faith and sexual identity absorb much of each chapter, but there are also fascinating looks at movie backgrounds and actors that I really enjoyed and yearned for more. The beautiful mother/son bond that is portrayed is one to be envied and replicated whenever possible. Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Hanover Square Press for providing an ARC.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Trevor Seigler

    Before COVID-19 shut down the whole world, going to the movies was a collective, shared experience for many people. But streaming services and good old-fashioned DVDs have made watching films easy to do from the comfort and safety of home. Film critic Michael Koresky decided to go back to the decade when his mother Leslie shared her love of cinema with him and use ten films from that decade to pay tribute to her and to tell her story in a unique blend of critique and memoir. “Films of Endearment: Before COVID-19 shut down the whole world, going to the movies was a collective, shared experience for many people. But streaming services and good old-fashioned DVDs have made watching films easy to do from the comfort and safety of home. Film critic Michael Koresky decided to go back to the decade when his mother Leslie shared her love of cinema with him and use ten films from that decade to pay tribute to her and to tell her story in a unique blend of critique and memoir. “Films of Endearment: A Mother, a Son and the ‘8os Films That Defined Us” has a very specific template of films to choose from: the films from that decade that centered on a female protagonist as the central character. Koresky set these ground rules for the reason that his mother was drawn to those movies and, through her interest, he was as well. By examining “women’s pictures” of the Reagan Era, Koresky and his mother both uncovered truths about the decade that would seem to transcend the conservatism and bland macho posturing of a decade less known for quality art films and more for testosterone-fueled epics of explosion. This doesn’t mean that all the films they would revisit would be tearjerkers, but it does mean that many of them would be films that might not be as heralded today as some other popcorn classics. Koresky admits early on to being caught off-guard about his mother’s citation of the 80’s as the decade of her favorite movies, as she came of age during the 60’s and 70’s amid the turmoil of social change and the invention of “New Hollywood.” But Leslie makes it clear why that decade means so much; she saw several films that featured women she could relate to, be they the struggling farmer’s wife in Jessica Lange’s “Country” or the ultimate female badass of Sigourney Weaver in “Aliens.” And Koresky himself found things about Eighties cinema that helped him come to terms with his homosexuality at a time when portrayals of queer characters were often for cheap jokes at their expense; the women’s pictures made it okay for him to acknowledge his emotional core in ways that the action movies devoured by his father and older brother did not. This is a book in many ways about Koresky’s dad Bobby as it is about his mother; diagnosed with the beginnings of dementia in his mid-fifties, Koresky’s father would struggle through his final decade and leave Michael with a hazy idea of who his father really was aside from being “Dad.” Not wanting to lose the chance to know his mother until it was too late, Koresky envisioned their movie-watching time as a way to unearth some of the secrets of his mother’s past, from her domineering mother to her thwarted career ambitions to be a singer (she relates to Michelle Pfeiffer in “The Fabulous Baker Boys” for that very reason, though she admits that she wouldn’t have wanted the fame that would come with being successful). Leslie Koresky was a wife, mother, and support system for her family, and it was through the films of the 80’s (admittedly a poor time for thoughtful cinema, though far from a cultural wasteland in terms of compelling lead performances by female stars) that she saw herself in a diverse collection of women onscreen. From “The Color Purple”’s Whoopi Goldberg to Jane Fonda in “9 to 5,” from Karen Allen (playing a trans character in “Come Back to the Five-And-Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean”) to Diane Keaton in “Baby Boom,” Koresky and his mother find themselves in the presence of performances that lead to long, intense, amusing and heartbreaking discussions of what it means to be a mom and a gay son in America, in a decade not known for its openmindedness about gender and sexual orientation. And it’s not just the Eighties that has that reputation. Much more than just a guide through cinema from a distant era, “Films of Endearment” is a look at the bonds that art can create when we least expect it, and about the shared love for pieces of entertainment that may seem ephemeral when they’re first released but which have a surprising longevity in the hearts of viewers who respond to them. Finally, it’s a loving tribute from a son to a mother who gave her child the courage to live his life and to embrace his identity through art.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeimy

    I don't know what I was expecting from this one. A paean to the movies featured within its pages? Something akin to She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs where the author learns a lot about his mother from the viewing of these films? A combination of the two? The author does a good job describing the films and their relevance when they came out. While he learns some things about his mother during the process, there are many questions he did not answer, many opport I don't know what I was expecting from this one. A paean to the movies featured within its pages? Something akin to She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs where the author learns a lot about his mother from the viewing of these films? A combination of the two? The author does a good job describing the films and their relevance when they came out. While he learns some things about his mother during the process, there are many questions he did not answer, many opportunities that were lost. The book ends when Covid-19 was already ravaging the nation. It describes what it was like not to be able to visit, to share meals and movies not just with his mom, but with other friends and family members as well. The book also lives in the shadow of the death of the author's father and how it affected their family dynamic. Both of these events left me with a sense of urgency for him to know his mother before it is too late. And while I was disappointed that he did not seize the opportunity to get to know his mother more, I also realize that I would not probe into my own mother's psyche to understand her better.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joelle Egan

    Michael Koresky provides the dual perspective of a professional movie critic and a loving son in his warm-hearted memoir Films of Endearment: A Mother, A Son and the 80’s Films that Defined Us. As Koresky delves into his upbringing and major life events, he uses the films he and his mother share together to contemplate their relationship and shared experience. He draws on the personal to illuminate the cultural significance of his favorite movies and uses family history to provide context for hi Michael Koresky provides the dual perspective of a professional movie critic and a loving son in his warm-hearted memoir Films of Endearment: A Mother, A Son and the 80’s Films that Defined Us. As Koresky delves into his upbringing and major life events, he uses the films he and his mother share together to contemplate their relationship and shared experience. He draws on the personal to illuminate the cultural significance of his favorite movies and uses family history to provide context for his selections. The author candidly reveals his early-on sexual identity bewilderment, his wavering ties with Judaism, and his experiences of grief. He uses these anecdotes to initiate a discussion about representation and identity issues as reflected in films of that decade. At its core, this book is first and foremost an homage to his mother. Films of Endearment veers often into oversentimentality, but Koresky’s expertise as a film critic with a sharp sense of humor saves it from becoming too saccharine. With this book, the author is talking to a niche audience—those of his own generation that share his passion for movies. The included reviews raise (and answer) questions about Koresky’s own development and expose his deep fondness for reminiscence and insight. Warning: Films of Endearment may encourage readers to explore their own beloved films in a search for a similar self-understanding. Thanks to the author, and Hanover Square Press for an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Minna

    DNF page 94 For me, too much memoir, not enough film. An intellectual New York film critic sets out to rewatch pivotal female led movies of the 1980s with his mother. His stated goal is to learn more about his elderly mother, her past and present. It’s slim pickings on Koresky’s mother, and film, a heaping helping of what it was like to grow up as an isolated gay kid in small town Massachusetts. I did enjoy a back ground and analysis of 9 to 5 and Mommy Dearest, but it’s buried in mountain of det DNF page 94 For me, too much memoir, not enough film. An intellectual New York film critic sets out to rewatch pivotal female led movies of the 1980s with his mother. His stated goal is to learn more about his elderly mother, her past and present. It’s slim pickings on Koresky’s mother, and film, a heaping helping of what it was like to grow up as an isolated gay kid in small town Massachusetts. I did enjoy a back ground and analysis of 9 to 5 and Mommy Dearest, but it’s buried in mountain of details about the author.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christopher McQuain

    3.5. Koresky bravely sticks his neck out to put his formidable cinephile/critic persona in the passenger seat and let his inner memoirist/family historian do the driving. It's a nearly impossible balancing act, and he doesn't always succeed, though the insights into both family, self, and cinema are frequent. The book works best, maybe, when Koresky acknowledges the tension between the distinct creative impulses at work; it's during those self-interrogations that it feels most open, rich, and fr 3.5. Koresky bravely sticks his neck out to put his formidable cinephile/critic persona in the passenger seat and let his inner memoirist/family historian do the driving. It's a nearly impossible balancing act, and he doesn't always succeed, though the insights into both family, self, and cinema are frequent. The book works best, maybe, when Koresky acknowledges the tension between the distinct creative impulses at work; it's during those self-interrogations that it feels most open, rich, and fruitful.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Hager

    I loved this book. I obviously love books, but movies have been just as much an important part of my life and they’ve been just as instrumental in shaping me as a person, if not more so. I love the idea of picking a decade and choosing one film per year based on various factors and I love the movies they chose and Michael Koresky’s relating of the movie to his life and his mom’s life. This book feels like the best possible gift and I love everything about it. Highly recommended.

  18. 5 out of 5

    David

    This book speaks deeply and lovingly about the effect art, even that considered “popular culture,” can have on our lives. In describing his love for movies and his quest to know his mother better, the author writes a deeply relatable, heartfelt memoir that is compulsively readable. This book was wonderful, comforting, and insightful. Highly recommend. (Especially if movies have played a vital part in your life, as they have in mine.)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Star Forbis

    "Movies change as we change. Grow as we grow." "What are the hidden parts of ones self, that a movie can lay bear?!" "And though movies, besides often being called escapist, cannot truly provide an escape from our truest thoughts. The can allow us to better define the world we live in, and thus the world we choose to create around us." "Movies change as we change. Grow as we grow." "What are the hidden parts of ones self, that a movie can lay bear?!" "And though movies, besides often being called escapist, cannot truly provide an escape from our truest thoughts. The can allow us to better define the world we live in, and thus the world we choose to create around us."

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Fonseca

    A really solid primer on the best 0f 1980s American cinema, structured as an ongoing conversation between a mother and sun. Super heartwarming and outside-the-box. It's a relief to pick up a book and think, "Phew, this guy really loves women and the movies." A really solid primer on the best 0f 1980s American cinema, structured as an ongoing conversation between a mother and sun. Super heartwarming and outside-the-box. It's a relief to pick up a book and think, "Phew, this guy really loves women and the movies."

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alex Mogil

    A lovely, poignant account of a mother/son relationship through the lens of classic 80’s movies. The story is beautifully woven with personal anecdotes, and also served as a nice refresher (and general awareness) of some of the best 80’s films!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    Michael Koresky not only discusses films from the 80’s he watches with his Mom. He weaves stories of his life and family into each chapter and each film. It’s a memoir of a mother and son who are movie watchers.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Linda Quinn

    Nicely crafted memoir that is built on the memories the author has of watching 80’s movies with his mom and what he learned from each one.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Mcbroom

    A mother and son bond over their favorite films and how the films have made an impact on their life.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bookclubbish

    Categories Film History & Criticism, Personal Memoirs, LGBTQ+

  26. 4 out of 5

    Maddie Mae

    Gift from a friend and was a quick and enlightening read <3 usually not one to pick up film books but I liked that this one included more personal details.

  27. 4 out of 5

    An George

    Loved this! Brought back so many memories- watching DVDs with my family on a tiny television every friday night, the discussions at length later!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Charming, funny. Especially loved the audiobook, read by the author.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vikki

    This didn't hold my interest, so I didn't finish. This didn't hold my interest, so I didn't finish.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Asha P

    Michael Koresky has woven the threads of family history, the themes and narratives of ten important films and the poetic nostalgia for both into such a beautiful tapestry that is Films of Endearment. If you are interested in a smart, moving memoir, this is the book for you. (Note - if you are merely interested in skimming a book for movie trivia, consider approaching this book instead as an opportunity to expand your understanding of the shape and style of a memoir and how movies influence, infor Michael Koresky has woven the threads of family history, the themes and narratives of ten important films and the poetic nostalgia for both into such a beautiful tapestry that is Films of Endearment. If you are interested in a smart, moving memoir, this is the book for you. (Note - if you are merely interested in skimming a book for movie trivia, consider approaching this book instead as an opportunity to expand your understanding of the shape and style of a memoir and how movies influence, inform and provide a portal through which to explore emotions, sense of history, and our relationships to each other. This is a book meant to be read, pondered and enjoyed.) I'd love to see lots of people - not just mothers and children, but groups of all types - inspired to try out a similar film "experiment." In a time when the need and yearning for connection is so strong, sharing experience and sharing that experience with others is a gift. I want to thank the author and his mother for sharing this gift with us.

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