(Review originally written at 29 June 2007)

Over the years "Kramer vs. Kramer" has grown out to be one of the widely best known dramas. And yes this is for a good reason. Every textbook drama element is present in the movie and it's a great example of how to make a good and honest genre movie, without ever cheating the viewers. With that I mean, without ever getting overly sappy or melodramatic, although the movie its drama gets predictable in parts. But isn't that the case in basically every drama-movie?

"Kramer vs. Kramer" above all is a real character movie. I mean, it's not like the story is that much special, or something that hasn't been done before in any other form or shape. It are really the actors that make the characters and emotions come alive. Without its stars this movie wouldn't had risen above the level of an average made for TV movie, if I'm being completely fair.

The concept of the movie also really doesn't sounds too much interesting. A movie about a divorce? Come on! How special can that be. Why should you even ever watch a movie on this subject? Well, let me tell you that "Kramer vs. Kramer" is a very special movie that knows how to move you. I guess that the movie should be especially recognizable and all the more touching for people whose parents really went to a divorce and had a 'fight' over custody.

The biggest strength of the movie is that it all feels very real. Not just the events but especially and foremost the characters and how they act and respond to certain situations. The movie and its drama feels so real because the characters also feel so real. So kudos to Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep (although her role is not as big as you would expect), who both won an Oscar for this movie but also to the young Justin Henry as the young son and Jane Alexander, who both received an Oscar nomination. So the movie was nominated in all acting categories, which should say enough about the acting power that's in this movie. Dustin Hoffman's character really transforms throughout the movie, when he tries to as good as a father as possible. It's really touching to see.

The movie shows how hard parenthood is and foremost shows that there can't be such a thing as the 'perfect parent'. It also helps to give this movie a very honest and straight-forward feeling, like with so many '70's movie also was the case.

A movie that's unique in its sort and is above most other genre-movies.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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