Ordinary People (1980)

R   |    |  Drama


Ordinary People (1980) Poster

The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.

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7.8/10
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  • Timothy Hutton in Ordinary People (1980)
  • Timothy Hutton and Mary Tyler Moore in Ordinary People (1980)
  • Judd Hirsch in Ordinary People (1980)
  • Robert Redford and Mary Tyler Moore at an event for Ordinary People (1980)
  • Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore in Ordinary People (1980)
  • Timothy Hutton and Judd Hirsch in Ordinary People (1980)

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20 July 2005 | qdude440
10
| Great Family Drama
This is a powerful directing debut from Robert Redford, a great family drama that goes every which way but down. By the end, our thoughts have been altered a bit and its a film that leaves you thinking.

Conrad, played brilliantly by Timothy Hutton in an Oscar winning role, is the depressed suicidal son of a couple struggling to cope with their son's drowning death. Conrad of course feels responsible, and has already tried to take his own life once before.

Reluctantly, he begins to see a shrink at the advice of his father. Dr. Berger, also played brilliantly by Judd Hirsch {though there are no slouches in the cast}, helps Conrad through thick and thin. By the end of the movie, the audience truly feels for all characters to some degree.

As has been stated, the acting is magnificent. The story may seem simple but this type of film really doesn't need a heavy plot. Its an excellent look at the problems we all face. When I first saw this at a young age I related completely to Conrad's character. When I saw this tonight, I related more to the adults and could really feel for them a lot more than I remembered. Each character has a unique sense of reality to them. The actors really carry the film, making the characters seem like real people we've known for years.

Unfortunately this movie has received somewhat of a bad reputation over the years as the film that beat Raging Bull in 1980 for the Best Picture and Director Oscars. While both movies are excellent, its sad that one has to be better than the other and people just don't enjoy both movies for what they are. Many people have preconceived opinions about this 'small' film they have not heard of. After all, Raging Bull is an all time classic. Just watch this movie with an open mind, because it really works on every level as a powerful family drama detailing the persona of many different types of people.

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