Kramer vs. Kramer Reviews
A workaholic Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) alienates himself from his wife of eight years Joanna Kramer (Meryl Streep).
Joanna eventually snaps and leaves the unhappy marriage and home leaving Ted to look after young son Billy.
Looking after Billy as a single parent puts pressure on Ted's work life and he is eventually dismissed from his job as an advertising agency executive.
Ted develops an ever closer bond with Billy as he develops his parenting skills.
The second half of the film sees the return of Joanna who demands custody and goes to court to win it.
The courtroom scenes are electifying and throughout Hoffman and Streep give good performances.
The locations are grimy 1970s New York that evidently ages the film markedly.
Prior to the courtroom battle Ted's lawyer devises a pros and cons list that can be useful in the ensuing battle.
It made me think about the pros and cons of this film.
1) Excellent performances by the lead actors and Justin Henry as the child Billy.
2) Tense courtroom scenes.
1) The film seems to have overly aged beyond its near 40 years! Perhaps the fashions and the bleak cinematography of New York don't help in that respect.
2) Divorce, seperation and custody battles are perhaps unfortunately more prevalent nowadays so the story has lost some of its 'shock value'.
The film isn't overly long at just over 100 minutes.
This is a movie I'm gonna have to side with haters and not the academy on.
If you watch the making of featurette, the director explains the reason for Meryl Streep's character leaving. She had to leave because she felt mentally unstable due to how Hoffman's character had treated her. In leaving, she showed the ultimate love toward her son. Which is worse: An unstable mother staying around, or leaving and getting her life together? If you look at a case such as Andrea Yates, the answer is clear.
~April 2, 2016~
Smashing drama about wife who walks out on husband and leaves him to take care of their young son. Not a false note in characterization, the two lead performances rate--and receive--unforgettable performances. Oscars for Picture, Actor, Actress, Direction, Original Screenplay. Evocative and moving; a truly wonderful film.