Thursday, July 19, 2012

Courtroom Drama #3 - Kramer Vs Kramer (1979)

This project has taught me many things: There's no movie that won't benefit from Jack Nicholson. They stopped making good mysteries in 1959. Stories that take place in the Middle East never last less than three hours. But the most important lesson that I will take for this endeavor is this: You can always rely on a movie made in the 70's to be unwatchably boring.

Which is why I was surprised to find that this movie, was awesome. I think it's probably the influence of Dustin Hoffman here. I'd only seen him before in All the President's Men, but he pops up a lot in the remaining movies (roughly seventy, by the way.) He's amazing. He carries the brunt of the story here - Most of the time we're watching him by himself or with a little kid - and he just makes the whole movie great. He even makes up for the typical 70's movie maneuver of not using music. He can handle a silent scene. He also has great hair.

Kramer Vs. Kramer is about a man whose life leaves him and their young son. He and his son bond and build a life together. Then, his ex-wife decides that she wants the child back, and they get into a custody battle over him. The thing is is that we want the son to stay with Dustin Hofman, but we know that's not going to happen because it's 1979. It's all very sad. The movie's really about gender roles and how they relate to parenting (They don't) and I thought it was very touching.

Meryl Streep was also in it. She was nominated for an Oscar for it. Obviously.

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