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Kramer Vs Kramer [DVD] [2011]

Dustin Hoffman , Meryl Streep , Robert Benton    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
Price: £4.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Kramer Vs Kramer [DVD] [2011] + The French Lieutenant's Woman [DVD] [1981]
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Product details

  • Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander, Justin Henry, Howard Duff
  • Directors: Robert Benton
  • Writers: Robert Benton, Avery Corman
  • Producers: Richard Fischoff, Stanley R. Jaffe
  • Format: Subtitled, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Greek, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
  • Dubbed: French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 2 May 2011
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005AVUL
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,047 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Winner of 5 Academy Awards®, Kramer vs. Kramer is a ground- breaking drama about the heartbreak of divorce and the struggle between work and family. Young husband and father Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) loves his family - and his job, which is where he spends most of his time. When he returns home late one evening from work, his wife Joanna (Meryl Streep) confronts him and then leaves him, forcing Ted to become the sole caregiver to their six-year-old son. Now, Ted must learn to be a father while balancing the demands of his high-pressure career. But just as Ted adapts to his new role and begins to feel like a fulfilled parent, Joanna returns. And now she wants her son back.

From Amazon.co.uk

It might have started out as a small, rather arty divorce drama but Kramer vs Kramer was the biggest cinema hit of 1979. It confirmed Dustin Hoffman's status as a major star in a performance that combined his trademark twitchy intensity with deep sensitivity. And it provided Meryl Streep with a pivotal role in her rise to big-screen greatness. Both won Oscars, as did director Robert Benton and the film itself scooped the Best Picture award. Kramer vs Kramer has worn well into the 21st century. Although clearly of its time--by the late 1970s, microscopic relationship analysis had become the theme of commercial cinema--it stands on the strength of its central performances.

Hoffman's Ted Kramer is a vision of the Graduate grown up: serious, focused and thrown by anything that threatens his upwardly mobile professional trajectory. The news that his wife, who he has failed to notice teetering on the edge of a breakdown, is leaving him and their son sends him into a tailspin. The film is as much about his resilience and fulfilment as it is the story of a divorce and custody battle. Justin Henry is extraordinary as Billy, the boy caught in the middle, and turns in a remarkably complex, thoughtful performance, which is light years from the archetypal all-American kid you might anticipate. And in just a handful of scenes, Streep is mesmerising as Joanna, the deserting wife and mother who you just can't bring yourself to hate. Yes, this is soap opera. But it belongs up there with all the finest cinematic human dramas.

On the DVD: The widescreen presentation ensures a theatrically authentic experience, with some fantastic shots of New York city coming into their own. The mono sound is adequate for the relative intimacy of most of the dialogue. But the real bonus is the retrospective documentary in which director and writer Benton, producer Stanley Jaffe and the cast look back with touching satisfaction at a piece which clearly meant a great deal to them all. Hoffman's initial reluctance (he was going through a real-life divorce) to get involved, the process of working with a gifted child actor and Streep's desire to make Joanna understood are all recalled in fascinating detail. --Piers Ford


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and still relevant 9 Aug 2002
Format:DVD
From the first scene the well-crafted story grips you, and throughout the movie the virtuoso acting and superior direction are dizzying. This is a powerful film which explores the personal and social consequences of a family break-down. It broke new ground at the time of the original release, focusing as it does on a careerist father left to cope with his young son after his wife deserts them. It is quite astonishing how relevant it all still seems; Hoffman's Ted Kramer starkly defines the work that ultimately has to go into fatherhood, family and friendship. The ending is surprising and provokes deep emotions that stay with you long after you've put the disc back in the box.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, great upgrade. 10 Jan 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Kramer vs. Kramer has shown itself to have a lasting impact and quality that a lot of films don't possess. The nature of it's topic is still relevant today, and it makes for good viewing every time. I highly and heartily recommend it.

As for the upgrade to Blu-ray, it's quite impressive. The soundtrack is a little more fresh, but it's the difference in video quality that'll suck you in. The DVD version is completely watchable, but this print is absolutely pristine. There isn't a scratch or flicker in it, and it has the 'right amount' of grain for a film of it's age; it's kept the atmosphere that a lot of recent films lack. The film's mostly pale palette appears to have found a new life.

You'll notice the difference.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kramer versus Kramer 19 Feb 2006
Format:DVD
Fantastically thought-provoking film. Incredibly moving acting by Streep, Hoffman (as always) and by the little chap who plays the son. The court scene is an emotional rollercoaster as your alliances shift from Ted to Joanne and back again. Such a beautifully crafted film. An absolute must see. The ending will stay with you long after the film had finished. A classic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
An excellent portrait of family dysfunction, I can imagine this hit a nerve with audiences for its frank take on a condition that was, unfortunately, affecting them in increasing numbers, in the late seventies: of course I am talking about divorce.

Nonetheless, it's an uneven film, not in terms of quality, but balance; the film truly belongs to Dustin Hoffman's performance of Ted Kramer, who takes centre stage as Meryl Streep's Joanna Kramer, disappears for large portions of the film. Only a few instances of Ted's short temper fuel any sort of backlash against an otherwise endearing paternal figure, while the audience is given far less cause to sympathize with Joanna, whose reasons for leaving Ted (and more importantly, her son) are never really explored.

It's the strange transfigurations of Ted's life that make Kramer vs. Kramer such an interesting study, such as when a court-ordered deadline forces him into the office of an executive, in the waning hours before the Christmas holiday, to practically beg for a job for which he is overqualified, this was probably my favourite bit of the film and it really made me smile.

While there's no reason Ted's story alone should not be the focus, the film's title suggests a war waged with equal ammunition by two wronged parties, and Kramer vs. Kramer is not such a film.

But the actors' perfect performances, and the way the script lays bare the despair and emotional warfare of an increasingly common and normalized legal process certainly makes me see why this film is considered a classic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent drama 9 Oct 2009
By Gifts
Format:DVD
This is a oustanding piece of acting from Dustin and Meryl plus the little boy. A really moving drama with some really original scenes. Very true to life with funny and very sad moments. As it deals with a marriage break up it is something that will relate to many people and is very touching.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars average 24 April 2012
Format:DVD
Tony Parsons is a clever man. I don't mean clever in any kind of meaningful way, just in the sort of way that allows you to take a famous film (or the book on which this was based), in this case 1979's Oscar-winning Kramer vs. Kramer, utterly plagiarise the plot, and then make millions off it, without anyone seemingly noticing. Consider the plot of blockbuster "Man and Boy", by everyone's favourite Daily Mail opinion-spouter: "wife leaves family home, abandoning son so she can find herself, leaving father to juggle maintaining a successful career with the newfound duties of bringing up a young son. Just when they've recovered from a rocky start, and are beginning to be a real family unit, the EVIL mother returns to claim what is rightfully hers, and a legal battle ensues."

There are MANY more similarities, but to list them here would be to list the entire plot of both the film and the book, and that isn't really the purpose of this review. True, Tony Parsons' book-writing career has been following the law of diminishing returns ever since, but maybe he's just not keeping up with the right trend. He's been rewriting his own book again, thus diluting the original even further. He should go back to the source and maybe attempt to plagiarise another in the series of what originally made him wealthy. The question is, which series? Who from "Kramer vs Kramer" should he follow? Avery Corman, who wrote the original book, followed it up with "the bust out king", the director Robert Benton went on to direct "still of the night" (1982), and Dustin Hoffman went off to star in Tootsie (1982). The idea of Tony Parsons in drag might not be to everyone's taste, but maybe it's what he needs to write about to score another "hit".
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