The Graduate Reviews
Most men who have seen this film find the affair unreal when young, with Mrs Robinson "old" ( even though Bancroft was only 35 at the time), and then more interesting as they get older.
Hoffman plays an awkward young man to the hilt.
While the film captures the period, it is timeless in capturing youthful uncertainty.
Ben Braddock, a recent college graduate, returns home to find himself roped into an affair with older acquaintance Mrs. Robinson. We quickly realize that Ben is essentially a fish in an aquarium, with no control over any aspect of his life, as his dead-eyes blindly follow his parents, Mrs. Robinson, and society's expectations. Hoffman and Bancroft are of course phenomenal. Their characters couldn't be more different (Hoffman anxious and spineless, Bancroft cool and emotionally broken), yet they dance around each other with wit and uncomfortable believability. Tons of great moments and characters calmly ignite the screen, each filled with humor, awkwardness, and poignancy.
On top of being a fairly on-the-nose coming-of-age parable, the entire piece is a giant critique of anything and everything (coddled parenting, youthful cynicism, stodginess, frivolity, romance, attaining happiness, even the idea of ultimate purpose). It recognizes that making decisions, even wrong ones, is an important part of adulthood. Yet despite its skeptical view, warm characters and strict honesty have allowed it to age with as much grace as bite.