Director: James L. Brooks

Information about the director.

Works

Film:Terms of Endearment

Terms of Endearment

James L. Brooks

Larry McMurtry’s novel becomes a somewhat lumpy film as directed by James L. Brooks (As Good As It Gets). Nevertheless, it is entirely winning, with Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger playing a combative mother and daughter who see each other through various ups and downs in love and loss, and most especially through a terminal illness endured by Winger’s character. Jack Nicholson deservedly won an Oscar for his supporting role as a free-spirited astronaut who backs away from a romance with MacLaine and then returns in the clutch. As he always does, Brooks…

Film:As Good As It Gets

As Good As It Gets

James L. Brooks

For all of its conventional plotting about an obsessive-compulsive curmudgeon (Jack Nicholson) who improves his personality at the urging of his gay neighbor (Greg Kinnear) and a waitress (Helen Hunt) who inspires his best behavior, this is one of the sharpest Hollywood comedies of the 1990s. Nicholson could play his role in his sleep (the Oscar he won should have gone to Robert Duvall for The Apostle), but his mischievous persona is precisely necessary to give heart to his seemingly heartless character, who is of all things a successful romance novelist.…

Film:Broadcast News

Broadcast News

James L. Brooks

Holly Hunter plays a network news producer who, much to her chagrin, finds herself falling for pretty-boy anchorman William Hurt. He is all glamour without substance and represents a hated shift from hard news toward packaged “infotainment,” which Hunter despises. Completing the triangle is Albert Brooks, who provides contrast as the gifted reporter with almost no presence on camera. He carries a torch for Hunter; she sees merely a friend. Written and directed by James L. Brooks, this shows remarkable insight into the people who make television. On the surface it…

Film:Spanglish (2004)

Spanglish

James L. Brooks

Anyone familiar with writer/director James L. Brooks (Broadcast News, As Good As It Gets) knows the man has a real feel for interesting women and a disarming way with a one-liner. The main women in Spanglish are Deborah Clasky (Téa Leoni), a moneyed SoCal mom, and non-English speaking Flor Moreno (Paz Vega), the beautiful Latina whom Deborah hires as a housekeeper. The one-liners, some of them amusing, are everywhere. Brooks provides an intriguing set-up for the two women to butt heads—Deborah’s pudgy daughter Bernice (Sarah Steele) needs the…

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