Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO Reviewed on 10/1/2018...
One of the "classic" movies of all time! The breakup of a marriage can be painful yet these two manage to make it work while keeping their son normal as possible. With talent like this any movie script should work smoothly and it does here!
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Divorce In The 70's
Thomas Magnum | NJ, USA | 01/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"1979's Kramer vs. Kramer mirrored a trend that was becoming more and more prevalent in America in the 1970's, the breakup of marriages. Dustin Hoffman & Meryl Streep star as Ted & Joanna Kramer. Ted is the prototypical yuppie. His job in an advertising company is really accelerating and it is taking up most of his time from his family that also includes eight-year old Billy (Justin Henry). Ted is so involved in his career, he knows little of the day-to day routine of his own household. One day, Ted's world is shattered when Joanna leaves him and Billy in order to find herself. Ted must learn how to raise his son, juggle his work and home life and go through a divorce trial. The film is both poignant and touching as Ted & Billy bond and form a loving relationship. Mr. Hoffman is excellent as is Ms. Streep and Jane Alexander gives a strong turn as the Kramer's woman's libber neighbor who Ted feels egged Joanna on and caused the breakup of his marriage. But the true find is young Justin Henry. He gives one of the finest performances by a preteen in movie history. The film was much lauded and praised and come Oscar time, Mr. Hoffman finally took home the Best Actor award after several failed nominations. Ms. Streep won Best Supporting Actress, director Robert Benton took home the Best Director award and the film won Best Picture."
Touching portrait of father and son
J. Jacobs | 01/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A career-driven man, insensitive to his wife and son's needs, is suddenly immersed in parenting when his wife (Meryl Streep) leaves him and their son to find herself. Throughout the film, as Ted adjusts to the demands of parenting, his career suffers, but his relationship with his young son grows. Over a year later, when his wife returns and tries to regain custody of the boy, Ted fights to retain custody.
The movie presents a well-done portrait of a family - the conflicting demands of a relationship, parenting and personal growth. It also tells the touching story of a father and son, and the sacrifices the father is willing to make in the name of love. A classic as powerful today as 25 years ago. "
Hoffman at best.
J. Jacobs | 07/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I could watch this movie a million times and never get bored because everything is so real. The acting is flawless; so flawless that it doesn't even appear that they are acting. Dustin Hoffman is simply a joy in this movie. He's superb, and the love that grows between him (Ted) and his son (Billy) is so moving and sincere. It's just as powerful, if not more, than any romantic storyline out there in the movies. This is love. A love between a boy and his father. It's deep love. The type of man which Ted grows to be is a beautiful human being, and this is all due to love. He becomes a perfect role model for what a parent should be. Hoffman is excellent. The boy actor is perfect. Another reason why I like this film is because it shows that a person is capable of change, afterall. If you're moved by great actors and real storylines, then watch this film!"
Not aging well.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 07/18/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Kramer vs. Kramer (Robert Benton, 1979)
Okay, I'll admit it, almost thirty years later I wanted to see Kramer vs. Kramer again solely for the JoBeth Williams scene. Yes, I am shallow. It's all I really remembered from the movie, other than Meryl Streep's "I make thirty-one thousand dollars" speech. And it's just as much fun this time around as it was when I originally saw the movie over twenty-five years ago. (I'm obviously not the only one who thinks so; the first keyword for the movie at IMDB is "nude wearing glasses".) I was reminded, however, of much of the reason I seem to have forgotten the rest of the movie, which has not aged well at all.
Ted (Dustin Hoffman) and Joanna (Meryl Streep) Kramer are married with child, Billy (Justin Henry). All is not well in casa de Kramer, however, and Joanna runs off to find herself, leaving Ted with Billy. Ted, who has spent much of his time working and very little of it with Billy, has to learn to connect with the lil' bugger while simultaneously learning to be a single parent. Nine months and one lost job later, that's finally happened-- and then Joanna shows back up and wants custody of her kid. Cue dirty custody battle.
As enjoyable as the movie is on the surface-- and I certainly won't deny that the film is as well-acted as one would expect from a cast that includes not only the above but a whole host of the seventies A-list-- but Benton, adapting Avery Corman's novel for the big screen, manages to work in just about as many single-parent clichés and stereotypes as he possibly can. (Whether they were present in the novel or magically appeared in the script, I don't know.) Sure, he plays them wonderfully-- the recurring French-toast theme, for example-- but that doesn't make them any less cliché or stereotyped. Oh, look, here's the doofus dad who knows nothing about parenting! At least the idiotic Mr. Mom made no bones about the fact that it was idiotic. Kramer vs. Kramer wanted to pass itself off as intelligent comedy-drama, and did so well enough that it scored a Best Picture Oscar back when such a thing actually meant something. (Assuming it ever did, your call.) These days, cast and all, I wonder whether this movie would even make it to the theaters, or whether it would be sentenced to the Lifetime Movie Purgatory-- err, Network.
Yes, it's certainly a watchable film, if dated nowadays, but in the slightly more enlightened society in which we now live, I hope the script's defects are a lot clearer to those watching it now. ** ½
Robert P. Beveridge | 08/27/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"1970's reconsideration of *The Champ* that is somehow more dated than that Thirties movie. Yes, I said dated: this movie hardly resonates today as much as might be supposed. Meryl Streep's housewife, searching for Personal Space and Inner Growth, belongs firmly to the early period of women's lib. Today, many mothers work: young women, watching this movie, might not understand what the fuss is all about. "Why doesn't she just get a job, if she's so bored?" they might ask. "Why quit on the marriage?" Granted, Dustin Hoffman's Kramer has insufferably chauvinistic assumptions early on in the movie, but as seen today, even that seems quaint, from another era. The whole of *Kramer vs. Kramer* is probably not equal to the sum of its parts, but those parts are pretty remarkable on their own, in particular the scene where Dustin Hoffman attempts to make breakfast for his son. (Although I think most kids would love French toast prepared in a coffee mug.) The charting of a father's growing acquaintanceship and engagement with his son has probably never been better demonstrated."