While it shouldn’t have beaten Raging Bull to the Oscar, this is a great film in it’s own right. The fact that it beat possibly the best movie of the 80s full stop probably overshadows how good it is. It’s a beautiful and real feeling story of youth and love, as well as expectations and societal perspectives on things like depression and other abnormalities. Redford understands the stigmas and works to abolish them.
So....finally saw it. Went in really wanting to hate it since it beat one of the greatest films ever for an Oscar. But that ain't it's fault and it's a very affecting film. White people problems but I could relate...being a white person. Poor Mary Tyler Moore gets shit on. Think this is my favorite Sutherland role, he does ineffectual yuppie dad very well, yearning to connect with his son. And help him
You have to take the bad with the good. For years my Mom compared herself to Mary Tyler Moore. They do look similar. Then this movie came out and all 3 of her kids started hating on her including me, despite the fact that she's nothing like the character. You make the connection, you live with the consequences.
It attacks you very slowly but effectively. You will leave the theatre, go for pancakes, hang out with your pals and smoke 2,5 packs of cigarettes after dinner, and when you get home to your bed the film will still be beaming in your mind as strongly as it was when you left the theatre at 4pm. And you will talk about it. Again and again.
In the film's final moments, watch closely as Mary Tyler Moore's Beth ascends the staircase after being told by husband Calvin (Sutherland) how he's not even sure if he loves her anymore. Raw, Powerful, Emotional and Solid. Director Robert Redford has fashioned a true classic.
Layer upon layer, Ordinary People, evolves like a mystery, scratching the surface scene after scene. By the end, the audiences are given the most brilliant character study in cinema's history. It's a film that understands people, its vicissitudes and the brutality of human emotions. It's not about finding good guys and bad guys. It's about showing that humans are complex creatures that not always make sense.
[SPOILER] Almost an update on "Catcher In The Rye" for a male generation more used to questioning the world they live in and confronting their emotional states, the film admirably resists the temptation to shift the focus from Conrad and onto his parents. The last shot of the film to me has echoes of Tarkovsky's "Solaris", with its father and son finding at least a modicum of comfort in letting their emotions speak.