Never envy other people's life: it might lead to a melodramatic mess. This is what happens in The Turning Point, the story of two former dancers (Shirley MacLaine and Anne Bancroft), who meet again after many years: one is now a star (Bancroft) and the other a mother and housewife (MacLaine).
People loved this movie, directed by Herbert Ross, based on the novel by Arthur Laurents, a portrait of two middle-aged women on the verge of a breakdown. The HFPA awarded it with two Golden Globes (Best Film – Drama and Best Director), and a total of six nominations (including Bancroft for Best Actress – Jane Fonda won for Julia), Leslie Browne for Best Supporting Actress (Vanessa Redgrave was awarded, again for Julia), and the then great dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov for Best Supporting Actor in the role of Yuri, an alter-ego of himself (Peter Firth won the Globe for Equus). The 35th Golden Globe Awards ceremony was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 28, 1978.
It's worth mentioning that oddly enough The Turning Point, as loved as it was, failed at the Oscars: eleven nominations, zero wins. Alongside The Color Purple, it shares the record for most Oscar nominations without a single award. The 20th Century Fox film was shot in Oklahoma City and Los Angeles. The big gala performance – and the climatic end – was shot at the Shrine Auditorium, the same venue where many Academy Award shows would subsequently take place.
Point wasn't the only music and dance dramatic movie that year: Saturday Night Fever and New York, New York were multiple nominees at the Globes (and Oscars). Indeed there was something in the air about dancing: The Turning Point storyline provided a strong framework for the dance performances. When the film was originally released there was a feeling that the classic story of finding oneself at life’s crossroads was original, and that's what director Herbert Ross said accepting his Golden Globe award that night: “We all come to that point at least once in our lifetime, having to decide between the left road or the right. You always hope that destiny is helping you with that choice. Whatever that is, enjoy it, make the best of it, don't look back in anger. And mainly, go out and dance, have a booze, if that's all there is!”