Actor Spotlight: Kramer vs. Kramer
Kicking off this month’s actor spotlight of Meryl Streep is 1979′s Kramer vs. Kramer. A movie that came out when I was merely a year old. With that in mind, it is no wonder that I didn’t see it till I was selected to do so for this review.
Kramer vs. Kramer is a movie can hits you like a ton of bricks because of the subject that is of hand. That being a young child in the middle of a custody battle between parents. However director Robert Benton focuses more on the growth of the father’s character than the custody battle itself. Dustin Hoffman plays the workaholic father who comes home after getting great news from work to a wife who has her bags packed and heading out the door. From that point on, his life changes dramatically.
Even though this is Streep’s month, this is Hoffman’s movie. The character growth of Ted Kramer is off the charts as far as a man who was so focused on work and himself to a man who basically does whatever he needs to for his son. Streep did impress with what role she did have. She made every scene she was in powerful and emotional. I can see why she along with Hoffman and Benton won academy awards for their contributions to the film. Jane Alexander who was also nominated did well, but I didn’t feel connected with her character. Of course there’s also eight year old Justin Henry. He at the time was the youngest actor nominated for an academy award. Playing Billy Kramer, you can’t help but feel bad for such a young kid who is mixed up in this situation.
Overall a powerful film. Kramer vs. Kramer gets 3 1/2 pitchforks from me. Even though I liked it, there were too many hypocritical moves done by the characters that were frustrating. If one thing that you get from this film, is that divorce can get ugly and turn even the good-hearted people into selfish jerks. I end this review with two words that should have been incorporated in this film but wasn’t…..joint custody.