The Whales of August (1987)
In this, Ann Sothern's last movie and the only for which she was ever Oscar-nominated, Tisha Sterling once again played her mother's character as a younger woman in an opening-scene cameo, just as she had in Crazy Mama.
The Whales of August, heavier on mood and character than plot, tells of two elderly and sometimes quarrelsome sisters, Sarah Webber (Lillian Gish) and the now blind Libby Strong (Bette Davis), their charmingly meddlesome neighbor and childhood friend Tisha Doughty (Ann Sothern), and Sarah's suitor Mr. Maranov (Vincent Price).
Sarah, owning the house in which the two live and having increasing difficulty in caring for Libby, seriously considers placing Libby in a nursing home, while Libby fears Sarah's attraction to Mr. Maranov and successfully torpedoes the romance.
Tisha Doughty, meanwhile, seeking a companion for herself, tries to convince Sarah to sell the house, but Sarah turns away the realtor and reconciles with Libby, who accedes to Sarah's desire to have a new picture window installed.
The annual appearance of the whales, along with the sea itself, represents the movie's recurring theme of time's passing. The film opens with the youthful Tisha running to the seaside house of her two friends calling out to them that the whales are here.
Note on the 1987 Oscars: Ann's nomination for Best Supporting Actress was the only nomination for The Whales of August, with the award itself going to Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck). In the National Board of Review Awards, however, Lillian Gish did win for Best Actress in a tie with Holly Hunter (Broadcast News).