Picks and Pans Review: The Last Best Year

updated 11/05/1990 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/05/1990 01:00AM

ABC (Sun., Nov. 4, 9 P.M. ET)

A-

Grab a box of tissues and watch this slow but very moving tale about a woman (Bernadette Peters) with liver cancer and the psychologist (Mary Tyler Moore) who helps her come to grips with her life even as death closes in.

It's a singular TV movie both for the emotional complexity of its characters and for its poignant performances. Peters is utterly convincing as a sweet, timorous woman who has sealed herself off from her feelings. Moore, in her meatiest role since Ordinary People, is strong as a shrink whose professional facade is threatened by memories of her own father's death from cancer.

Sensitively directed by John Erman and scored by John Morris, the film would garner a higher mark had it not taken refuge in the warm fuzzies during its second half.

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