Ordinary People

Ordinary People
Drama

1980

Director: Robert Redford Cast: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Timothy Hutton, Judd Hirsch, M. Emmet Walsh, Elizabeth McGovern, Dinah Manoff, Fredric Lehne, James Sikking, Basil Hoffman, Quinn K. Redeker, Mariclare Costello, Meg Mundy, Elizabeth Hubbard, Adam Baldwin, Scott Doebler

Academy Awards: Best Picture; Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Timothy Hutton); Best Director (Robert Redford); Best Adapted Screenplay (Alvin Sargent)

Also Nominated For: Best Actress in a Leading Role (Mary Tyler Moore); Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Judd Hirsch)

I First Saw In: 2009

Synopsis: 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.

Quotables: CONRAD: Hello, Jeannine, this is Conrad. Ahem. Hello, Jeannine, this is Conrad. Conrad. Conrad? What a dumb name.

And now a Word from the Guise:
Conrad finds himself spiraling into a dark depression following the death of his older brother. His father coddles him, trying too hard not to upset him. His guilt is spurred by his mother’s vitriolic blame. His friends don’t bother trying to talk to him. His coach’s patience grows thinner the less enthusiasm Conrad shows in swimming.

Timothy Hutton is extraordinary; his skill is surprising for such a young actor. Mary Tyler Moore and Donald Sutherland, already veterans, were unsurprisingly excellent. Conrad’s description of depression is 100% accurate; it truly is like living in a hole that consumes you, until you become the hole.

Many people outwardly express criticism for Ordinary People, declaiming that it cheated Raging Bull out of Best Picture. But I side with the Academy on this one. Raging Bull was just another boxing movie for me. Ordinary People delved deep into the turmoil of a bereaved family, revealing how each of them individually coped with their grief and how they coped with it together.

Oscar Madness Ranking – ??? out of 233

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