Thursday, 30 August 2012

Ordinary People

Ordinary People, 1980
Directed by Robert Redford
Nominated for 6 Oscars, Won 4
Up Against: Coal Miner's Daughter, The Elephant Man, Raging Bull, Tess

Ordinary People stars Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore and Timothy Hutton is a story about depression, and grief. After the accidental death of the eldest son, Buck, the rest of the family deals with it in different ways. Conrad, the son, blames himself and is riddled with immense depression, and we see him a month after he gets out of the hospital for trying to "off himself". Calvin, the father, is constantly trying to make sure Conrad is okay, and trying to be honest, but not worry people, at the same time. And Beth, the mother, doesn't talk about it, and refuses to talk about it, and has distanced herself from her other son, and even her husband. 

This was the first time I'd seen Mary Tyler Moore in a dramatic role. The only times I've really seen her is when I watched the Mary Tyler Moore show with my grandmother. So it was quite interesting to see her a bit older, and a lot more dramatic. Additionally, this is the first film I'd seen without Donald Sutherland having white hair or just young in general. Both of these 2, playing Calvin and Beth, were truly fantastic. However, Mary Tyler recieved a nomination, yet Donald Sutherland did not, which quite astounds me. If I had had my way, it would've been the other way around as I thought Sutherland stole the film when Timothy Hutton wasn't on screen. 

And speaking of Timothy Hutton, I thought he really was fantastic. He really embodied the guilt and anger that comes with depression and with grief of losing someone. He really made you feel for the character and brought Conrad to life. He had ups and downs and was thrown off easily. He was a well-written character, and helped me to understand what someone in his circumstances might be going through. 

The family relations in this film, also, were done well. They were intricate but also relatable. All were strained, and you could see why, yet you hurt that they were like this. Beth was too cold to Conrad, Conrad was distancing himself from his family, and all his father did was care about him, much to his wife's displeasure and accusations that his son is "controlling him". 

I thought this film was a good show of depression and grief, and the way a family deals with it (or doesn't). And while I didn't think it was quite worthy to be the best picture of the year, I'd love to see more films like this win. Stories about, well, ordinary people, and circumstances that any one of us could go through. Enough biopics, enough period pieces, and stories about extraordinary circumstances, I'd like to see more movies like last years, the Descendants win. A story that could happen to any of us. Movies like Annie Hall, Kramer vs Kramer or Terms of Endearment. The last movie that won like this was 1999's American Beauty. 

But I digress. This film was well made, and definitely well acted (a little bitter about the Donald Sutherland snub, especially since he was Golden Globe nominated for it), but it was a good film. I liked it as a movie, but it was just okay as a Best Picture. But I like the variety of films that win (war movies, gangster movies, period pieces, biopics, and ''ordinary people" movies), so I'm not going to complain too loudly because it was a good film. 

Acting- 8/10 
Directing- 7.5/10 
Screenplay- 8/10 
Visuals- 7/10 

Music- 4/10 Emotional Connection- 7.5/10 
Entertainment- 7/10 
Rewatchability- 6/10 
Overall Enjoyment- 7.5/10 

Overall Package- 7.5/10     

Total: 70/100

No comments:

Post a Comment