6.6/10
299
8 user 1 critic

Breathing Lessons (1994)

PG | | Drama | TV Movie 6 February 1994
A married couple review their lives and renew their love for one another while driving to a friend's funeral.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (teleplay)
Reviews
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ira Moran
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Maggie Moran
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Fiona
...
Serena
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Mabel
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Daniel Otis
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Jesse Moran
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Sam
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Leroy
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Mrs. Stuckey
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Durwood
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Sugar
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Daisy
Kevin Thigpen ...
Lamont
Larry John Meyers ...
Bodyshop Owner
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Storyline

A married couple review their lives and renew their love for one another while driving to a friend's funeral.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 February 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: Breathing Lessons (#43.2)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Last film of Henry Jones. See more »

Connections

Edited into Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly Tyler-esque
10 June 2014 | by See all my reviews

As this is one of my favorite Anne Tyler novels and movie adaptations are usually disappointing, i was pleasantly surprised by this one. It's a cliché of movie promotion but Joanne Woodward IS Maggie Moran - from her somehow busybody-ish walk to her expressions of quizzical dismay, hopeful desperation etc. when her well-meaning plans for fixing someone's life go awry. Like rain and sun alternating as her mind races trying to save the situation; "...Maggie always trying to patch patch patch..." says Fiona.

James Garner* is OK as Ira; he greets Maggie's foibles with attitudes ranging from fond acceptance to dyspeptic irritation. Maybe it's just because i like Eileen Heckart but if anything her take on Mabel is better than the original character. Same for Debra Mooney as Mrs. Stuckey; her sidelong squinty-eyed dislike for all things Moran is something to see. And Delphi Harrington's brief appearance as Sugar; "Boys had always been fascinated by Sugar." - and i can see why. Maybe it's unfair to judge by my personal reading of Tyler, but some of the other characters seem to diverge farther and farther from the story; i just don't see Joyce Van Patten as the former bohemian bad girl of Maggie's & her youth, and what happened to the Barley twins? - they're now the Barlow twins and totally unrecognizable.

Then there's the music; it has a kindly naivete, a homey, ambling feel, a bit of whatever it is about Tyler's novels that i'm so enamoured of. The Moran house is very Tyler/Baltimore and the Stuckey place engagingly trashy; that hanging rain lamp is perfect. In this case i think it helps to have read the book for the background and history that wouldn't fit into a movie; how LeRoy's very existence is a consequence of Maggie's meddling for instance. For whatever reason i think this movie has more of that distinctive Tyler something than "The Accidental Tourist" or "Earthly Possessions".

* Search james garner ira on youtube for his take on Ira.


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