Best Picture Reviews: Kramer vs. Kramer

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There are a ton of really popular classic movies that I haven’t seen. That’s the main reason I started the Best Picture Quest. After all, Oscar winners are a good place to start right. According to B+ Movie Blog, I’m dead to the world because… I haven’t seen Apocalypse Now. And the funny thing is, maybe I wouldn’t like it anyway. I’ve stated my opinions on war movies in the past. And as for Kramer Vs. Kramer… am I the only one who thinks this is actually a pretty deserving Best Picture winner? (please don’t kill me.)

I knew from the moment this film started it was gonna be a good one. We fade in to a shot of Meryl Streep, but the first thing to fade into the frame is the glint of light on her wedding ring. So her ring is the first thing we focus on. In the beginning, there was marriage. It’s a great shot and a really clever way to begin a really great movie.

This is another one of those movies that just gets it all right. The directing? Top notch. There’s one scene right after Meryl Streep leaves and Dustin Hoffman starts making breakfast for his son. The scene is shot in a small kitchen with some fast, clever edits that add a very subtle level of suspense that gradually culminates in Hoffman breaking down.

The screenplay? What can I say? It’s brilliant. There’s one scene when the son has to go to the hospital and get stitches. The doctor says. “Just wait out here, there’s no treason for you to stay with him.” And Hoffman says “Yes there is. He’s my son.”

The acting? Of course it’s amazing. Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep are absolutely phenomenal in their roles, with Justin Henry and Jane Alexander also turn in strong performances. Seriously, this film is an actor’s showcase.

Good story, well told, great directing, great writing, great acting. Who could ask for anything more? I think the 1970’s were the best year so far for Best Picture Winners, and I’m looking forward to see what the 80’s have to offer.

*****

One thought on “Best Picture Reviews: Kramer vs. Kramer

  1. I was in my freshmen year of high school when my mom took me to see this. I really enjoyed it (though it’s not an upbeat movie). I think it was one of the first ones to really deal with the issue of divorce and how it effects everyone in the family.

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