Review: KRAMER vs. KRAMER (1979) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Review: KRAMER vs. KRAMER (1979)


One of the best tearjerker films of the 80s, KRAMER VS. KRAMER is at the ground level, looks essentially suited as a made-for-cable movie that drowned all the expected sappy melodrama. It’s not. Instead, this movie raised above-average level it’s simply emotionally captivating.

Based on a novel by Avery Corman, the story takes place in New York City and begins with Joanna Kramer (Meryl Streep), an independent woman, is leaving his husband Ted (Dustin Hoffman), an art director in an ad agency, for no other reason than that she wants to break free and “find herself”. Thus it’s now leaving Ted in a state of frustration: he has to take care of their young son, Billy (Justin Henry). Since Ted is a very busy man working in the ad agency, he strained himself way too much doing double duty as both father and mother all in once and causing him making several mistakes at work and lose a major account. Ironically his steady job resulting him into getting fired instead. Not only that, he is also facing another obstacle where Joanna surfaces again and wanted to sue for the custody of the child she’s abandoned because she is now has an excellent job in which she can afford day care for Henry. But Ted isn’t giving up that easily. He immediately look for a job at all cost, for the sake to fight back against his wife for the custody of their young son.

Although the premise of this movie is nevertheless predictable (there’s nothing refreshing about divorce and the heartbreaking apart of families), writer-director Robert Benton polished this oft-seen formula so well done you hardly seen this an old wash that shouldn’t be filmed anymore.

Instead, the movie is truly manipulative in the way how Benton brilliantly conveys such honesty in his direct screenplay and the direction is simply precising to the point-of-view. What makes the movie even greater is the unforgettable remarkable cast: Dustin Hoffman is easily captivating as a struggling father trying to make things right in order, while Meryl Streep is equally excellent as a self-centered, bitchy wife and newcomer Justin Henry is credible as an innocent young child.

Nominated for an incredible 9 Academy Awards, KRAMER VS. KRAMER swept five Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor (Dustin Hoffman), Best Supporting Actress (Meryl Streep), Best Director (Robert Benton) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Robert Benton).

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