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June 26, 2008

Ordinary People


This is a slow burn emotional film directed by Robert Redford. It explores the aftermath of a family who loses a son, and how the mother, father, and brother all deal with it. It's an intense film, where the son is suicidal, and the mother is angry that he is the one who lives when her favorite son dies, and the father doesn't know how to handle this situation.

It's a very good film. In many ways, it reminds me of Good Will Hunting, where the boy forges a healing bond with a therapist, played by Taxi's Judd Hirsh...

After all, it won Best Picture in 1980, so it has to be good. The reason it works is because Redford shows a lot of restraint and allows the emotions to be subtle and pulled back some. It's never melodramatic, even though the story could be played that way in lesser hands.

3 out of 4

Posted by jason on June 26, 2008 12:08 AM


Hi Jase!

I loved this movie. I actually saw it in the theater. One thing that was great about it was the dead-on dialogue. Like during the big blow-up scene where Timothy Hutton curses, and Mary Tyler Moore says in a voice of dread "They may speak that way at the hospital, but we are not at the hospital now" - totally sidetracking from the content of what he is saying. And he gets sucked in, yelling that she was never at the hospital. Totally the way people argue in real life.

It was the best performance of Mary Tyler Moore's career - which sounds like it might not be saying much, given her usual light comedy fare, but this movie shows you just what she can do with a great script.

Posted by: Peaj on July 1, 2008 08:50 PM

Pj I totally agree. The dialogue was excellent. It felt like you were somehow watching real people mourn and argue over this loss. It was an inspirational script.

Posted by: jason on July 1, 2008 09:03 PM

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