11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Ordinary People [VHS] (VHS Tape)
A family has lost their oldest son in a boating accident, and the remaining son (Timothy Hutton) blames himself and attempts suicide. The parents, Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore, are trying to hold themselves and their family together, but the main way they are doing it is by hiding and repressing their pain, instead of facing the almost-unfaceable. Things get really stirred up when Timothy Hutton goes to see a therapist, played by Judd Hirsch. Everyone begins to face the horror and all the grief comes pouring out.
Oscars: This movie should have swept the Oscars. The look of the film, the directing, the soundtrack, and all of the acting represent film-making at its absolute finest. Timothy Hutton was so good that it's mind-boggling that he did not go on to become one of our best actors. Donald Sutherland is obviously in pain but trying to do what he thinks fathers are supposed to do: be strong for everyone else, no matter what the cost to himself. Mary Tyler Moore is astonishing as a woman driven to not feel the terrible pain that always lurks one step behind her. Judd Hirsch is superb as the friendly but quietly relentless therapist who will not let these people stay protectively numb.
Caution: This film is extremely realistic in its portrayal of family interactions, repressed emotion, and grief. The impact is very powerful and intense. Few people will be able to watch this film without sharing some of that pain. My brother died in 2002, and I saw some of this film coming to life in my home and in my brother's home.
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Initial post: 31 Oct 2010, 15:20:09 GMT
T. Neal says:
Just to add; I watched this film first back in the early 1980's when in my teens. I, too, had lost a brother and the film had a profound effect on me, and helped me understand my own feelings and those of the family around me. I just saw the film again this weekend, and it still packs an amazing emotional punch. I've never seen a film with such sensitivity and awareness of the impacts of grief and the importance of (self) forgiveness.
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