Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Review: Kramer vs Kramer (1979)

I have heard a lot about this film over the years, but as with other older films, I didn't like the look of it. However, a benefit of being stuck in a hotel room with only German channels and only a few films downloaded on your iPad means that you watch whatever is available and inevitably find a film you like that you never would have expected to enjoy.  This is what happened with Kramer vs Kramer, as it had won 5 Oscars it has been on my radar for a long time and I finally watched it.

This is the story of Joanna and Ted Kramer and their son Billy.  Joanna decides to leave workaholic Ted, leaving him to struggle to look after their son Billy and manage his highly stressful role as an Advertising Executive.  He manages to organise their lives and get them into a steady routine until 2 years later Joanna returns to their lives and a bitter custody battle ensues.

I really enjoyed this film, it was heartbreaking in so many ways and scarily true to so many homes in this day and age.  The acting is fantastic but i personally would have liked to see more of Meryl Streep, as she is one of my favourites.  Justin Henry is fantastic as Billy, the heartbreak that he portrays when his father tells him he will have to live with his Mother is amazing, especially for someone so young.  This film showcases 3 incredible performances, which is obviously rare judging from it's astonishing success at the 1980 Academy Awards.

I get the feeling when this film came out that is was much more shocking to have a Father single parent, as I would guess (I'm not old enough to have been around, but) many single parents at this time would have been Mothers.  This would have been quite a shock on the world I assume, maybe this is why it had such an impact at the awards.

This is one of those films for me personally, that doesn't have much happen but you are entertained throughout, more recent films that I have found that are similar are Little Miss Sunshine and The Way Way Back, both films that I loved but not a massive amount happened in the film.  Basically, the story speaks for itself, no over dramatics, story padding or special effects required.

Definitely worth watching, even if you don't think it's for you give it a try.


  1. This is one of those films that, for me, has very undeserved backlash. So many balk that this won Oscars, but those Oscars are so richly deserved. Being a parent, this film hits me right where it counts.

    If you're interested, we covered Hoffman's Oscar win a few months ago when we did Twice a Best Actor. You can read our thoughts here:


  2. I was a kid when this came out and predictably had no interest in seeing it. Over the years, I was always aware of its Oscar winning past, but just never got around to actually watching it. Thanks for the reminder.