Kramer vs. Kramer
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Winner of 5 Academy Awards®, Kramer vs. Kramer is a ground- breaking drama about the heartbreak of divorce and the struggle between work and family. Young husband and father Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) loves his family - and his job, which is where he spends most of his time. When he returns home late one evening from work, his wife Joanna (Meryl Streep) confronts him and then leaves him, forcing Ted to become the sole caregiver to their six-year-old son. Now, Ted must learn to be a father while balancing the demands of his high-pressure career. But just as Ted adapts to his new role and begins to feel like a fulfilled parent, Joanna returns. And now she wants her son back.
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friendship, and above all parenthood. This is the film where Robert
Benton's complex humanism really comes to full flower.
In a situation that almost demands taking sides - a sudden divorce
leading to an unprepared father taking over childcare only to be
challenged for custody when the mother returns 18 months later - Benton
manages to make everyone a complex human being, with strengths and
weaknesses, trying their best to do the right thing in a painful, messy
Hoffman, who has been brilliant so many times playing characters far
from himself is perhaps the most moving he's ever been playing a
character that director Benton described as really, honestly playing
himself - perhaps the hardest character of all. Streep takes a woman
who could have easily come off as the villain of the piece, and makes
you understand her actions - - even abandoning her little boy. Jane
Alexander is wonderful and subtle as the slowly developing friend
Hoffman makes as a single father, and young Justin Henry is utterly
real in a way few child actors are as the 7 year old stuck in the
middle. It's also beautifully, if understatedly shot by Nestor
It's flaws are minor. Some of the supporting roles, while played by
terrific character actors, are a bit more one note and characturish
than they need be. And some of the courtroom theatrics feel just a tiny
bit... well, theatrical. Also, there's a logic point that's always bugged
me - why doesn't Hoffman - doing quite well on Madison Avenue, hire a
part-time housekeeper or nanny to help him from becoming terminally
overloaded by the combination of career and single parenthood? Last
family politics have changed enough in 31 years that no longer would
the climactic court fight stack up quite the same way - it's no longer
a rarity for a man to want custody of his children - but that's not a
flaw in the film, just a welcome reminder that some things do get
And none of the above are enough to detract from the fact that this is
storytelling and acting of the highest order.
The blu-ray, while not a dramatic leap from the fine DVD, is still
a worthwhile upgrade. The additional richness and texture in
both the image and the sound gives the film an even greater
sense of immediacy.
It’s a really moving portrait as the idealized image of the Leave it to Beaver family is challenged by this new family dynamic that had not been depicted in such a way at that time. Kramer vs. Kramer really speaks to the broader question of just what or perhaps who can be considered a family? This is a question that many people in this country struggle with today.
In conclusion, Kramer vs. Kramer is a conversation starter.
P,S. I still scratch my head wondering why they felt it necessary to include the brief scene of female nudity. Completely unnecessary. Excluding that, it was a Perfect film.
This movie should be used for film acting to display how you nail a scene. They both win in this film.