Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

Meryl Streep is a good actress and maybe one of the greats when she retires. No matter what she does or how great she acts in any given project, I will probably never be a fan. I also don’t understand how everyone bows down to her when she appears at an award show, let alone spend most of the night praising her even if she’s not nominated for something. 

Streep stars opposite Dustin Hoffman in a movie entitled Kramer vs. Kramer, which won Best Picture in 1980. I’ve heard many good things about this movie and finally found some time to watch it the other night. 

I was thoroughly impressed with Hoffman’s performance. After his wife leaves him along with his kid, the guy has to find the right balance between working at this advertisement firm and being a parent to a stubborn kid. It is an extremely tough job with many lows and very few highs, yet these two form an unbreakable bond. After two years, you can see how that both father and son have grown. 

Streep’s character Joanna disappears to “find herself” and then comes back to seek custody after some counselling. When she threatened legal action, and they go to court to fight for custody, I was upset. Streep gave a convincing performance on the stand with watery eyes and tears running down her cheeks. No matter what she said, I was never on her side. She abandoned her kid and felt she deserved full custody after her stunt. It was upsetting to watch her play the victim when her kid and her ex-husband were the real victims. 

We knew the trial was going to get nasty, and Joanna’s lawyer went dirty and picked on Ted (Hoffman), blaming him for all the shortcomings in his professional life as he struggled to be a single parent for the first time. I knew it was coming, yet I refused to believe the decision would tip in Joanna’s favour. 

This story is heartbreaking and definitely one of the best-divorced stories to hit the big screen. The writers did a fantastic job building up both sides of the story allowing you to dig deep into the side you want to support. I am fully onboard with Kramer vs. Kramer winning Best Picture because it was real. The characters may be fictional, yet this particular story plays out in homes and courtrooms every day. 7/10

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