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Ordinary People [DVD] 
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An upper-middle-class family in suburban Chicago appears to be the perfect American family until tragedy strikes. The winner of 4 Ac ademy Awards including Best Picture.
Robert Redford made his Oscar-winning directorial debut with this highly acclaimed, poignantly observant drama (based on the novel by Judith Guest) about a well-to-do family's painful adjustment to tragedy. Mary Tyler Moore and Donald Sutherland play a seemingly happy couple who lose the elder of their two sons to a boating accident; Timothy Hutton plays the surviving teenage son, who blames himself for his brother's death and has attempted suicide to end his pain. They live in a meticulously kept home in an affluent Chicago suburb, never allowing themselves to speak openly of the grief that threatens to tear them apart. Only when the son begins to see a psychiatrist (Judd Hirsch) does the veneer of denial begin to crack, and Ordinary People thenceforth directly examines the broken family ties and the complexity of repressed emotions that have festered under the pretence of coping. Superior performances and an Oscar-winning script by Alvin Sargent make this one of the most uncompromising dramas ever made about the psychology of dysfunctional families. There are moments--particularly related to Mary Tyler Moore's anguished performance as a woman incapable of expressing her deepest emotions--when this film is both intensely involving and heartbreakingly real. No matter how happy and healthy your upbringing was, there's something in this excellent film that everyone can relate to. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Ordinary People is a triumph for the director and the cast, an intelligent movie that captures the essence of therapy (i.e. the authenticity of relationship within the artificial and contrived setting) and the depth and complexity of a family's response to unimaginable grief. Scene after scene serve as wonderful testimonies to the film maker's art: e.g. The garden, The family photo, The diner, and of course, the fascinating therapy sessions.
Best of all... the ending, so unlike Hollywood, where for once, all is not explained or made good. Ordinary People, loose endings, real life.
Kevin Chandler (author: Listening in: A Novel of Therapy and Real Life
From a film that boasts an interestingly modest title, "Ordinary People" explores the extraordinary relationships, circumstances and events that flow through many people's lives. I have suffered grief before in my life, and I have also been in a "suicidal" place so the film struck a personal chord with me. There are so many elements to it that it can relate to so many people on so many different levels without being too intense and depressing. Surprisingly, for the subject and content, the film is weirdly uplifting in places and certainly leaves a long-lasting impression, of which is largely positive. It avoids focusing on the death of the son directly, instead decides to show to fallout from this tragedy through three different people's eyes, showing how they deal with it, each in very different, often destructive ways.
I truly believe this film is unforgettable and from what I have seen of others like it, unique too. I am rarely moved in the way this film moved me. It really draws you into a very believable plot including very believeable characters. The acting is superb and flawless.
I strongly, strongly reccomend you to watch this film. I have shared it with many people of different backgrounds, experiences and emotional "strength", all of which adored it and related to it. I proudly class this film as one of my all-time favourite films and for that reason I urge you to give it the time it deserves. It has so much to offer, and if you like to be emotionally challenged by a film, I promise this film wont disappoint.
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