Ordinary People
Ordinary People

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Product Description

A suburban chicago couple and their son are torn by another sons death. Oscars for best picture. Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 05/23/2006 Starring: Donald Sutherland Mary Tyler Moore Run time: 124 minutes Rating: R Director: Robert Redford

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 older 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 pretense 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

Customer Reviews:

  • Scorsese got robbed
    Never in my life have I subjected my eyes and brain to anything so disgustingly pretentious as this movie. The acting is okay- a little overdone in my opinion, but acceptable- but no acting could save such a dreary plot. I found myself wishing all the characters would commit suicide in some colorful fashion- that's really the only ending that would have pleased me. I don't see how this movie could appeal to anyone but upper middle class WASPS; to anyone else these people are not ordinary, they are whiny bitches living far more privileged lives than they deserve. I don't mean to downplay the emotions that go along with losing a loved one, but I think that most people are too busy trying to make ends meet to obsess about it as single-mindedly as these people do. Most people might very well get terribly depressed, but I think they would do it with a little more dignity than this contemptible lot. I can't emphasize enough how utterly unlikable these characters were. What's worse, I couldn't even hate them- I only felt scorn. And if you don't care about a character, you can't possibly care about what happens to them. I would give this film 0 stars if I could....more info
  • "Aaaaah, you're just saying thaaaaat!"
    This film came out in 1980 and won 4 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director(Robert Redford), Best Supporting Actor(Timothy Hutton), and Best Adapted Screenplay. Its primary competition that year was from another great film, "Raging Bull." I first discovered this movie when I was 18-years-old (How perfect is that?), and I was just simply blown away by the authenticity of emotions shown here. This is one of those rare successes: a character-driven movie that garners critical praise as well as being embraced by the masses. The acting by the entire cast is some of the finest in film history! That may sound like a biased opinion, but considering the amount of honors bestowed on this film, I know I'm right. What makes this film particularly remarkable is that, while it was made in 1980 and set in that time, watching it now it looks more like a period film than say, a film from a certain decade that has lost its vitality through the passing of time. It is still fresh and vibrant, the connections that are made between the characters are as univeral as ever. This film has superb acting, a magnificent screenplay adapted from the novel by Judith Guest, and a first-time director's inspiration in Robert Redford. This is a priceless treasure in my collection. I urge everyone to see this excellent film at least once. Thank you....more info
  • A True Classic
    I don't usually buy movies but this one I bought.

    I've seen this movie several times over the years and never got tired of it. The story is heartbreaking, and the acting is among the best ever. As another reviewer wrote, this movie deserved all the Oscars it received.

    I believe this movie will always hold up through time because when tragedy strikes in families, oftentimes the true character, whether good or bad, of some people who are going through such grief comes out, as this movie shows....more info
    You may have seen American Beauty and The Ice Storm as moving chronicles of everyday lives or dysfunctional families, but this could easily be the movie that set the trend. I chanced upon this this film without knowing anything about it, except that it was Robert Redfords directorial debut, and was truly surprised!

    The narrative is remarkably credible and smooth. The writing is superb, there is not one moment in this film that feels false or "acted." The dialogue is extremely well written, but Redford, like Clint Eastwood or Kunrick, was not afraid to exploit moments of silence as well.

    I cannot believe that Donald Sutherland wasn't even nominated for a supporting cast role, he leaves a taste of his presence long after the credits have rolled. Mary Tyler Moore was very successful in potraying the odious mother who cannot even feel her own despair after her favorite son's death in a boat accident. But hats off to the pivot of the movie, the younger brother who survived the accident, played flawlessly by Tim Hutton! I guess a performance that is also quite easily overlooked is that of Judd Hirsch, in a seemingly background but very important role of the younger son's psychiatrist.

    Somewhat atypical of Hollywood, there are no happy endings and chiming bells to "Ordinary People." This is a deep, dark movie that journeys into the worst, most difficult situation a family must ever face, and comes out with a very natural resolution (of sorts.)

    A must-watch treat!...more info

  • Ordinary People
    I thought this was an excellent movie that showed the raw emotions of a family going through a crisis. ...more info
  • Trauma Changes Things and People.
    When someone in the family dies in an accident, the family is never the same, because of issues such as blame, forgiveness, and trauma is not dealt with, and ultimately creates gaps and walls between each other. Ordinary People is a very emotional impacting film about the irrevocable damages that take place in Timothy Hutton's family when his brother died in a sailing accident. He's internally depressed and afflicted by this traumatic event. Both Mary Tyler Moore and Donald Southerland have not been able to face this harsh reality, and lived for years in silent grief. The three members of the family is no longer happy together, and they haven't moved on since the death of the boy. What can they do in order to let go and become a happy family again? Or can they still be happy together? I was very moved by the performances, especially from Timothy Hutton and Mary Tyler Moore. This film is very similar to The Door In The Floor, and Moore's role is also similar to Kim Basinger's, because they both have been devastated for years and have no more feelings about the family and their husband....more info
  • Excellent movie still!!!
    whenever I am asked what is my favortie movie I would always answer "Ordinary People".....for years no one could find it. Even my friend that can find anything couldn't find it...I am so glad you had it.
    this is a great movie about FAMILY and how they deal or in the case of mom do not deal with tragic life moments. Rated R back in the '80's would probably get a PG13 today.
    disturbing on some levels if you have been through or are going through similar situtations...more info
  • Ordinary People
    "People" is one of the more harrowing films out there (without blood or violence), thanks to Redford's inspired direction and flawless turns by Sutherland, Moore and especially Hutton. Penetrating and painful to watch, film delivers ample emotional rewards. Redford's first foray behind the camera, the film won the Oscars for Best Picture / Director, as did young Hutton for supporting Actor. A must....more info
  • No Ordinary Movie
    This is one of the most honest and perceptive movies I have ever come across. It's painful and uncomfortable to watch some of the scenes because of its truthfullness. One scene that came to mind is the picture taking scene, isn't that just a sad scene. You're own mother not being able to even fake affection for his son. I know Mary Tyler Moore' character is not exactly a monster it's just she doesn't know how to connect with his son (in her words the other son that died whom she get along just fine doesn't need parenting). The screenplay allows the characters in the movie to be three dimensional, it made you feel that based on the conversations and dialogues they had that there could be people in real life in that situation.

    Mary Tyler Moore gave a topnoth performance. She just understood the complexity of the role and she never made a false move, from the big confrontation scenes to the quieter non-dialogue scenes. She was just consistently marvelous. The rest of the cast was great too. The underrated Donald Sutherland provided a good match for Moore. I love the dynamics between the two. Not to mention that they are very believable as a couple.

    This is just a great movie. Great performances from the cast, a perceptive and moving screenplay and an intelligent direction from Redford. A satisfying movie that doesn't just make you think and feel, it makes you react and observe.

    Grade: A ...more info
  • Get *ON* With It...
    Seriously, this was a painfully slow movie.

    Trust me, all the family angst, and the pain of mortality and grief were not lost on me, but I found myself just begging the film to get on with the story which was clearly evident yet the dialog just kept beating, and kicking, and clubbing the same dead horse.

    I found the movie painful to watch and gave up just over 3/4 of the way through because I just couldn't bear to sit through any more....more info
  • One of those rare gems
    "Ordinary People" is one of those films you can watch again and again and still get something new from it. I watched it again the other night (after finally purchasing it on DVD). The performances from Tyler Moore, Sutherland and Hutton are so exceptional that they all deserved oscars.

    How does a family deal with the loss of a well-loved son from an accident? Some will shut out their emotions like Tyler-Moore's character, while the son needs to show his emotions, and needs his mother more than ever. However, she is cold towards him, almost blaming him for the death of his brother. Sutherland is the husband and father caught in the middle of it all, who is also trying to deal with his own emotions over the death of his eldest son.

    Ordinary People was made in 1980 and directed by Robert Redford. I have seen it at least 5 times now, and consider it a DVD definitely worth owning. Dont hesitate if you are looking for a special movie....more info

  • Grief is a journey
    The true strength of Redford's first work lies in his ability to give the actors the room to feel and the permission to breathe. As an actor himself, I'm sure he knew how important it is to pull back as a director.

    All of the individual performances are superb, especially Moore, Hutton and Hirsch. At times I fear the performances are too remote, too distant. We get only glimpses of how things "used to be" in the Jarrett household. I didn't find Beth and Connie's relationship as heartbreaking as I should have simply because I had little context for it or ability to compare it with life before Buck's death. The distance now overwhelms any since of what has been lost.

    The film is truly frozen in the moment of their individual griefs. These individuals move through their own journies of grief drawing closer and pulling back.

    I hate to suggest making a film longer, as doing so usually makes it more ponderous. However, if we had been allowed to linger just a bit more in some of the flashbacks, I think the emotional impact would have been that much greater. So much unfolds in retrospect, and THAT is not like real life. For instance, we do not know until very late in the film that Lazenby, Buck and Connie were "best friends." I found it a very emotional scene, but it informs backward into the film a fact that all of the characters already know.

    Certainly this film was ground-breaking, opening the way for some of the powerful family therapy-dramas that have followed. Kudos to Redford and to a uniquely powerful cast. ****1/2...more info

  • Great movie
    This si a far cry from your usually sappy Christmas movie, but it is also the most realistic movie about real people that has been made....more info
  • Extraordinary Classic
    "Ordinary People" is a great movie classic. It develops the story beautifully with both subtley and directness through scenes that crescendo to a powerful climax and conclusion. The acting is marvelous; the directing and editing are masterful; and the story (derived from a Judith Guest novel, worthy of reading separately before or after viewing the movie) is an emotional gold mine.

    The story involves a respectable, but dysfunctional upper-middle class suburban Chicago family, the Jarretts, who are recovering from the aftermath of their eldest son's death. Conrad (Timothy Hutton) recovered from the same boating accident that killed Buck, his brother. He has to work out the results of that accident and still is surviving emotionally after the storm's wake, including a suicide attempt and a stay in a mental hospital. Ordinary living has become nearly unbearable for him, but he has the support of a loving, but helpless father, Calvin (Donald Sutherland) and a lack of support from a selfish and uncaring mother, Beth (Mary Tyler Moore). Conrad finds himself adrift until he heeds his father's advice to seek help from a psychiatrist, Dr. Burger (Judd Hirsch).

    "Ordinary People" provides a symphonic build-up of emotions and revelations that are interesting and cathartic. The performances are sensational. Timothy Hutton justifiably won best supporting actor for the anguish, understated and boiling over, he created as Conrad. Mary Tyler Moore has the performance of her lifetime, and Donald Sutherland, never nominated, shows ingenious subtlety as the father. Judd Hirsch and M. Emmit Walsh are also excellent, as well as some of the natural performances by the other supporting actors. Robert Redford has his directorial debut, which garnered him best director Oscar.

    "Ordinary People" is either loved or hated. Some criticize the movie as mere melodrama, but it is so well crafted, it is hard to reconcile, except to say that you need to be reasonably sensitive to appreciate this movie and how it unfolds. There is still resentment regarding their Oscar sweep of this movie. "Raging Bull," another Best Picture nominee, is another worthy classic, but a different sort of film. "Ordinary People" is a one of a kind movie made with a sensitivity and brilliance that few films ever accomplish. ...more info
  • Quiet but enduring classic... deserved its Oscars.
    I remember being in a dormitory TV room when "Ordinary People" won the Oscar for Best Picture, and the guys screamed and hissed and booed and some stormed out.

    And why? I knew immediately that it was because "Raging Bull" had lost.

    I'm not deriding "Raging Bull" in any way-- it was a fine film, and the directing/acting was terrific... But I knew very well that depite "Bull"s admitted quality, this room of gorillas were furious and indignant not because they really appreciated the artistry of that film, but they wanted a macho film with lots of scenes of guys beating the hell out of each other to win... Some movie-goers would also vote for "Pulp Fiction" and even "Kill Bill" over, say, "Ordinary People" for Best Picture as the latter has no graphic violence.

    It's that simple, and that silly.

    The suggestion that this win was one of the greatest travesties in Acadamy award history is--- well, it's just a buncha raging bull.

    "Bull" was good, but "Ordinary People"s haunting (there's that word again), finely textured, understated view of a disintegrating middle-class family after the death with which none of them can deal of the in-house golden-boy, is the more affecting film. Some may claim the movie is now "dated" in that so many pictures have followed focusing on or dissecting middle class suburban life, but I've generally found those to be either too 80's-style-self-conscious, and/or too smug, and just quirkily unconnected to reality (and please dont confuse "Terms of Endearment" nor "American Beauty" with "Ordinary People"!)

    "People" succeeds through understatement and lack-of-pretense, and from the fact that it was filmed in a now-bygone era in which posturing and political correctness weren't required from the script or the participants.

    The Academy got it right.
    ...more info
  • It's So.................Ordinary
    Overall, this was disapionting. Just a combination of suicidal, ordinary people. Honestly, I could barely sit throught the whole thing. I love sad movies, but they packed so much emotion, into an otherwise plotless movie.... it was under-written and over acted. Its so...........Ordianry, really. I do not recconmend this film. ...more info
  • Auspicious directorial debut!
    From Alvin Sargent 's script, this film marks with firm step the first incursion of Robert Redford as director, and the result has been overwhelming.
    With such material Redford bet for a so delicate and so hard theme that seems to be inspired in a Bergman film.

    A familiar tragedy originates an absolute lack of emotional equilibrium around the members of a middle class family. His elder son has been awfully and touched by this significant loss and suffers serious deviations in his emotive behavior, blaming himself about it. Terrible revelations along the film will involve us from start to end. But there is still more, his mother is a human being unable to inspire love, transmit confidence and elicit human warmth. These emotive scarcities will surround his intimate and outer world, creating an invisible but very defined frontier of self sufficiency isolating practically of all those who esteem and love her.

    From the times of a Long day 's journey into the night, Guess who is coming to dinner, The last picture show and Kramer vs. Kramer we had not watched such kind of potent statement around a visible state of things that carved in relief with such crudeness and realism such familiar portrait.
    Timothy Hutton got his best achievement in his career. But the honors also go to Mary Tyler Moore featuring the role of this obsessive and emotionally invalid mother; Donald Sutherland made a very vibrant acting as the wounded father who is stood in the middle of the tragedy. He represents the tolerance and the equilibrium trying to deal against the painful circumstances and making the best he can to avoid the unavoidable collapse

    Robert Redford will be always remembered by his notable contribution to the enriching of the cinematographic language. He elevated the rank of the drama and made it possible to materialize those little and painful familiar disagreements in the screen with surprising results, and additionally to have thought in Sundance Festival Prize for Independent Directors will ennoble him for ever in the future 's memory.
    ...more info
  • Bought as gift
    Depressing movie I thought. But my brohter wanted it. Arrived quickly and in good shape no complaints here....more info
  • Ordinary People
    This is a movie with such a sad story. Donald Sutherland, Mary Tylor Moore and Timothy Hutton take on such a heavy subject with grace and poise. Robert Redford picked this movies as his first attempt at directing and it is a masterpiece. The story revolves around a family who loses a child/brother. The surving brother has such a hard time accepting his brothers death and wants to die himself. His father tries to keep the family together while his mother is a cold unloving person. She doesn't want to have anything to do with her surving son. It will really touch your heart. ...more info
  • Ordinary people but incredible acting
    I recently watched this movie for the first time, and I was emotionally on edge for the entire two hours. Rarely does a film surface that so brilliantly tackles repressed human emotion and family tension. Timothy Hutton's performance is incredibly believable, and Mary Tyler Moore's icy role as the emotionally-tormented mother is perfect. I believe that each of us can identify with some element of the tragic, dysfunctional family presented here. We all wish we were "ordinary people," but like these characters, we all have deeper emotions and tragedies that threaten to break us....more info
    I'm pretty young. I actually wasn't born when this movie came out! But when I saw it just months ago it instantly became one of my fave movies. The observant and touching tale is that of the Jarrets an "ordinary" american family who has come across and extrordinary experience of greif when their older son dies in a boating accident in front of the eyes of their younger boy Conrad portrayed by a brilliant Timothy Hutton who's performance is near spotless. Isn't it amazing that this was his first feature film...really a troubled youth performance that will go down in film history (And it really doesn't hurt the guy that he's gorgeous.) I am very happy he went on instead of dying out young. Anyway back to the story..(I have a little thing for Hutton could you tell...one of my fave actors.) So after witnessing his brothers death Conrad is left with such guilt that he attempts suicide. The movie begins when Conrad has returned to his "ordinary" life with his mother Beth (A fantastic Mary Tyler Moore who does the cold and bitter mother perfectly) and his father Calvin (A touching and tragic Donald Sutherland) both of who are having a hard time faceing the change. It is only when Conrad begins seeing a shrink (A wonderful and empathetic Judd Hirsh...in my opinion he could have been a bit more empathetic but thats just me) that things begin to get riled up and begin to crumble. A deffinate tear jerker but one flick for any age at anytime. Totally deserving of all it's Oscars and more....more info
  • Extraordinary Performances
    Every family isn't perfect, and has its issues. Some families have scars and pain that threaten to destroy them, like the family in this film: three ordinary people.

    I had never seen Ordinary People until recently. I was a teen when it appeared in movie theaters. The film got Academy Awards for Director (Robert Redford, his first directing venture), Adapted Screenplay (Alvin Sargent), and Supporting Actor (Timothy Hutton). Mary Tyler Moore was nominated as Best Actress for her very solid performance as the complex and flawed Beth Jarrett. Judd Hirsch got a nod for Supporting Actor.

    What strikes me about this film is that it is brimming over with tension.
    Wife and mother Beth maintains her well adjusted appearance at all costs, even if it means alienating her immediate family. She has swept her pain and grief under the rug. Wound up very tightly like a perfect bow on a gift, she is chiefly concerned with keeping up appearances and a life that seems normal and content. She shuns the truth and emotions. Vacations and golf help her stay numb and distracted. Her husband Calvin knows that things are not right, but will not admit it to himself. He is in denial about his family, and about how he truly feels.
    The film's core is teenaged son Conrad; he is eaten up by his massive guilt over a family tragedy. Normally it should be the best time of his life. But he is a walking open sore, a raw nerve. Beth and Conrad are both repressed in many ways. She keeps a frosty distance from him, not even showing her child affection of any kind. He loses the friendship of his best buddy in school because of his angst and antisocial tendencies. Ironically, a good friend is the one thing that Conrad desperately needs at the moment, although he doesn't realize it. He refuses to reach out to others to help him endure the immense pain and conflict. There is heavy dysfunction in this family.

    Every performance is exceptional among the four main characters. But I believe the most interesting has to be Mary Tyler Moore's role. It is not easy to convey what her character is about. She has to walk a thin line between mother and monster. This is not a big, showy role. Far from it. There are so many subtle qualities and nuances to the character. Everything Moore does is spot on: body language, posture, expressions. It must have been a real challenge for this actress, after years of playing perky Mary Richards in a sitcom on TV. She really showed her acting chops here in Ordinary People.

    I must confess that throughout this film I felt a growing hatred for the character of Beth. But then I realize that she has gone through hell and just doesn't know how to cope any longer. She is a sad soul, and the worst part is that her life seems so normal from the outside... but inside she has died a bit. And it's damage that can't be undone.

    This is such a simple movie but it is so powerful. It's a very realistic portrayal of a family that's crumbling. If you like good drama and haven't seen this, it's well worth viewing. ...more info
  • Still powerful and relevant nearly 25 years later
    "Ordinary People" (1980) is one of those rare classic films that has lost none of its power and remains relevant and fresh nearly 25 years after its original release. Robert Redford's film debut, based on the modern classic novel by Judith Guest, packs the same powerful emotional punch on the tenth viewing it does on its first.

    The story is simple but deals with incredibly complex emotions that take its characters and the audience into some pretty dark places. On first look, the Jarretts are an ordinary, upper-middle class family consisting of businessman father Calvin (Donald Sutherland), homemaker wife Beth (Mary Tyler Moore) and teenage son Conrad (Timothy Hutton). But something is definitely wrong. Conrad has trouble sleeping and has slash mark scars on his wrists. Calvin seems overly concerned with his son's health, while Beth is obviously in serious denial about something. Then there's the bedroom at the end of the hall that is filled with another, absent son's possessions--an older son named Buck, whom we gradually discover has recently died in a tragic accident in which Conrad had some part. It's not until Conrad starts seeing a psychiatrist named Berger (Judd Hirsch) that the circumstances of the accident, and the fragile state of the Jarrett family's emotional health, starts to unravel.

    "Ordinary People" is a perfect movie. Not one scene, line of dialog, characterization or camera shot is out of place, wasted or unnecessary. Redford directs with the sure hand of an old pro, and screenwriter Alvin Sargent (who recently wrote the superior script to "Spiderman 2") has accomplished something unthinkable: he's actually written a script that improves on the original novel, which is pitch-perfect in its own right. And the performances are phenomenal: Hutton won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his brilliant turn as a suicidal teen simply crying out for his mother's love, while Moore deserved one (but lost out to Sissy Spacek's equally deserving work in "Coal Miner's Daughter") as a mother who buried her heart with her favorite son and cannot bring herself to give her surviving son the love he needs. And Hirsch is a tower of strength as the understanding psychiatrist who forces Conrad to unlock the keys to his memory and understand why he has lost the will to live. But the truly unsung hero is Sutherland, in an atypical role as a loving father who is supremely concerned about his son but simply can't crack through the surface of either wife or son to get to the root of the problem. M. Emmett Walsh (as a swimming instructor), Frederic Lehne (as a concerned friend) and Elizabeth McGovern (as Conrad's potential girlfriend) add key support, while Dinah Manoff is simply a knockout in her one scene as Conrad's obviously unstable mental patient friend.

    But the real genius of the film is in the casting of Mary Tyler Moore as the coldest, and most hated, mother since Angela Lansbury in "The Manchurian Candidate." That Redford saw this character in the actress who previously was best known as the bubbly heroine of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" has to rank as one of the riskiest, and ultimately most insightful, casting decisions in cinema history. Mark my word, in a film filled with haunting imagery, you will never forget Moore's last scene, in which she pathetically struggles to maintain her composure when she realizes her whole world has come crashing down on her.

    "Ordinary People" won the 1980 Best Picture Oscar, as well as awards for Hutton, Redford's direction and Sargeant's script. Critics have maligned the choice for over two decades because it beat out Martin Scorsese's masterwork "Raging Bull," which is admittedly an outstanding film. Maybe this really is one of the all-time Oscar tragedies like many say. But one thing is for sure. "Ordinary People" is the rare film that has the power to not only change lives, but save them, too, if people take its message to heart. "Raging Bull" is simply a vivid biopic of a heinous man. I'll take the former any day.

    ***** (out of *****), although the DVD is a typical bare-bones, extras-free (except for the original trailer and 1:85:1 widescreen format) Paramount package. Next year is the 25th anniversary, so here's hoping Paramount DVD opens the pursestrings and presents the extras and cast commentary this classic film deserves....more info
  • Highly successful debut of Robert Redford as a director
    Honest to God, I didn't remember that this was Robert Redford's directorial debut till I rented this DVD for maybe the 3rd time. It's based on another debut: Judith Guest's first novel. Superlatively successful, in both arenas.
    Ordinary People concerns a well-to-do family's painful adjustment to the death of the elder son by drowning. The book begins when the surviving son, who blames himself for his brother's death, has just returned home from a stay in a psychiatric unit after recovery from a suicide attempt. The family is wealthy but dysfunctional: grief is weighing each of them down, but no one talks about their pain openly. When the son starts seeing a shrink, the sugar coating begins to crack, and the repercussions of the repressed emotions they've all been stuffing down come bubbling to the surface.
    Excellent, intense, heartbreaking - and ultimately hopeful....more info
  • Realistic Depiction of Caring Therapist
    This is a very well done movie. The storyline is well written and is not embellished. Clearly research was done well to portray the family pathology. Despair, feeling as a victim is all played out well. The therapist by Hirsch is amazing. It is not the superficial, plastic personality of a therapist, " How does that make you feel?" This movie moved me and is one I could esily relate to.

    My own suicide attempt was similar, his feelings of despair and rckoning that it was not his fault follows a similar path of my own. Hence I wrote, " Above His Shoulders." One can only hope that most therapists show this type of passion, and desire to work with their clients.

    I was fortunate enough to have found a few. Kudos to Redford. Excellent film....more info
  • Not an Ordinary Movie
    Ordinary People is a fantastic movie about family and loss. Timothy Hutton is fantastic as the son dealing with a brother's loss. Donald Sutherland turns in an amazing performance of a dad trying to hold his family together. The strongest acting comes from the absolutely brilliant Mary Tyler Moore, playing the emotionally distant mother, Beth Jarrett. She should have won the academy award for this performance. One of the greatest movies ever! Director Robert Redford captures human emotion as well as any director ever has....more info
  • One of the greatest family dramas ever made
    Robert Redford's "Ordinary People" is one of the compelling movies ever made portraying a family's unravelling after the loss of a loved one. The acting is superb. The script is beyond reproach, based on a best-selling novel. This film received several well-deserved Oscars. A true masterpiece!...more info
  • My favorite movie ever!
    Director Robert Redford's beautiful and haunting film, Ordinary People is by far the best film of all-time. This movie is pitch-perfect, no flaws, no unnecessary moments, just pure brilliance. Timothy Hutton won the oscar for best supporting actor, very much-derserved, his performance is scary and gripping. Mary Tyler Moore is so cruel and manipulative, you will love to hate her in this movie. Ordinary People is based upon a novel written by Judith Guest. The movie's version is pretty darn close to the book. Hutton's character, Conrad is recovering and trying to adjust to a failed suicide attempt. His mother (Moore) is bitter and can't find love for her youngest son. This movie won best picture in 1980, two years before I was born. This movie is so realistic and sad, I highly recommend viewing it, you'll love it!...more info
  • NOT an ordinary move
    I first saw this movie when i was in college. To this day i tell people i have never seen a movie that affected me more or kept me more involved as i was watching it. This is just one of those great movies where it hard to convey to someone how good it is. I believe Timothy Hutton was nominated for best supporting actor for this movie, which is a complete joke. He should have been nominated and won for best actor. He is the central figure in this movie and is absolutely incredible as a teenager with emotional problems. He is able to immerse himself so totally in the character the viewer cannot distinguish between reality and fiction. Timothy Hutton was discrimated against for his age when it came to oscar time. You will not see a better performance by an actor. Don't know what happened to him after this, but he was amazing. Donald Sutherland is also VERY good. Some of the scenes with the psychologist are simply riveting. This is a movie about human emotions and grief, there are no car chases or explosions.

    Buy this movie, watch is some night when you are mellow. You may be pleasantly suprised at this powerful piece of film making.

    ...more info
  • Ordinary People the movie
    This is one of the few movies that I can honestly say gives the book justice, and even exceeds the book. I really enjoyed this movie, and I would recommend this movie to anyone who is a fan of the book, or anyone who is intrested in a heartfelt story of trying to deal with tragedy and coming out the other side....more info
  • One of my all time favorites
    I hesitate to write a review about this movie because I do not wish to give too much plot away. This is one of my five favorite movies of all time. The acting is top-notch to the point where the characters become painfully real....more info
  • such a tragic and moving story
    the characters in this film are as real as the people next door, across the street ,or in your own living room. how does one deal with such a situation? a father so desperatley trying to pretend all is normal, and life can go on, to a son so riddled with self guit, to a mother so cold and distant she cant even show him the same courtesy she would give to any sranger on the street. this movie is the story of all of our lives in some way. mary tyler moore was not the best actress winner (she should have been) as most people could not see her as anyone but our beloved mary richards. timothy hutton, best supporting actor (deserved), donald southerland overlooked. well worth seeing. a truly memorable work of art....more info
  • Still a great movie, after all these years...
    I have just watched this movie on DVD, after not seeing it in its entirety in years. Still an excellent film with superb performances. Timothy Hutton received a much-deserved Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal. Mary Tyler Moore's character as his all-too-human mother is touching and heartbreaking at the same time; you see her as flawed, but imminently human, instead of the characiture her character could have easily become. If you care for gripping dramas that are ultimately about personal redemption, buy this film. ...more info
  • Perfect!
    From the beginning, throughout and until the end, every syllable, nuance and movement was perfect. All acting was perfect..a transluscent metamorphosis tunneling deep through the depths of the fragile human spirit. Mary Tyler Moore was phenomenal as the hollow suburbanite as was Donald Sutherland as the dense fragile father. The son was played very well. A model for complex character treatment. Five hundred stars and three thousand thumbs up!...more info
    Ordinarily bad. So boring yet the book was worse. How could this have won an oscar. [...] all i can say is ugh....more info
  • Impeccable acting, writing, and directing
    I recently watched this movie for the first time, and I was emotionally on edge for the entire two hours. Rarely does a film surface that so brilliantly tackles repressed human emotion and family tension. The film is very character-driven, especially the roles of Timothy Hutton and Mary Tyler Moore. Hutton plays Conrad, the tormented, suicidal younger son who survived the boating accident that killed his older brother, Buck. Moore is Beth, the icy, anguished mother who cannot forgive her younger son for surviving when Buck, her favorite, perished. Donald Sutherland is Calvin, the father who desperately tries to reconcile his wife and son and promote healing in the family. Judd Hirsch plays Dr. Berger, the psychiatrist who helps Conrad come to terms with his parents, himself, and his dead brother. Most of the movie is viewed through Hutton's eyes, but we see each character try to cope with Buck's untimely and tragic death. I liked the fact that we discover the details about the accident in flashback pieces throughout the movie; it adds an element of suspense to the psychological study of the characters.

    Several scenes are especially moving and are permanently affixed to my memory: the photo-taking scene with the grandparents; the restaurant scene with Conrad and Karen; Conrad's first session with Dr. Berger; Conrad's breakthrough session with Dr. Berger; the scene where Conrad catches his mother reminiscing in Buck's room, and the two can't even carry on a conversation together; the scene when Moore finally loses her rigid self-control; and of course the final scene. Watch each of these scenes and you actually FEEL what each character feels. It's incredible; a testament to brilliant acting, writing, and directing.

    I believe that each of us can identify with some element of the tragic, dysfunctional family presented here, and perhaps that makes this film so timeless and exceptional. This movie isn't over-the-top (even though the social class of the Jarretts isn't exactly "ordinary"). The film is impeccable. And here is what allows us to identify with this film, whether we've tragically lost a close family member or not: we all wish we were "ordinary people," but like these characters, we all have deeper emotions and tragedies that threaten to break us....more info

  • Still one of the best movies of all time...
    This is one of the best movies of all time. For those interested in the process of healing, grief, and family dynamics, this is a must see movie. In particular, those involved with the helping professions as therapists or seeking therapy services, this is a great watch....more info
  • Hits close to home
    I have always liked this film, ever since I saw it in the theatre in 1980 when it was released. It's painful to watch the scenes between the obedient son and a mother who cannot and will not emote love to her child, who is clearly in need of it. As the parent of a teenage son who is suffering from depression , it's sometimes cathartic to watch this film and try to understand the pain felt by Conrad and the guilt over losing his beloved brother. The tension between mother and son with the neutral father looking on, trying to give love and be available to both of them is acting at its best. ...more info
  • not an ordinary film
    I read the book years ago and then recently watched the movie. excellant performances by everyone. timothy hutton, donald sutherland, mary tyler moore(she plays such a witch). the movie is about an accident that leaves a family unable to deal with their emotions. the mother, father, and son in their own way are dealing with their grief. the ending is great. moore deserves what she got. recommended highly....more info
  • It will move you
    A great movie from start to end. It tells the story of a family's struggles after the death of one of their own in a tragic accident but I really dont want to give any more of the plot away. The acting in this movie is fantastic and the its so hard to believe that this is Robert Redford's directorial debut. You really wouldn't know that from watching this. The reason that I love this film is because of the psychological aspects involved. It gives you a good insight into why people behave the way that they do. And it will surely move you. One of the best movies I've ever seen....more info
  • Rare is the movie that transcends our criticism--this one does
    I have seen this movie well over 30 times (the movie has earned its place as an integral part of my approach to teaching interpersonal communication at the college level); and I suspect I will view it 30 more times. It affects me deeply each and every time I experience it. "Ordinary People" is an acutely (painful and difficult to watch, at times you will find yourself feeling like a voyeur) intimate portrait of a family torn asunder by tragedy, yet fighting in the only ways they know to ease the pain and remain sane, "Ordinary People" is the iconic, masterfully directed and acted picture of the genre. Disarmingly charming in its ability to capture (and then fracture) our culture's tenuous ideas about family, love, compassion and grief, "Ordinary People" goads us to question at a very deep level our abiltiy to care and be cared for, to love and accept love, to feel and validate feelings for what they are to us, and those around us. After many viewings, I remain in awe that my heart throbs during the desperate lows in this move, yet soars at the few moments of innocent discovery and hope depicted in joyous little moments between father and son, and teenagers groping for encouragement. Some scenes are just withering: I cringe and cry at the photograph scene, I emotionally collaspe watching Beth try to physically recover from Conrad's embrace. I've come to believe that this movie is not about Beth Jarrett (Mary Tyler More, in her best performance ever, playing the emotionally undone mother with ferocity), nor about Conrad Jarrett (Timothy Hutton, who won a supporting actor academy award for embodying the guilt-ridden surviving sibling of a horrific boating accident and the survivor of a suicide attempt), but about Calvin Jarrett (Donald Sutherland, in what is arguably the best and clearly overlooked performance of his career), the compassionate yet desperate father attempting to patch his family back together. His attempts are beautifully naive and genuine, his pain is true and heart wrenching, his failure is life altering and enlightening. "Ordinary People" was Robert Redford's directorial debut--he should be proud, The movie reflects a keen emotional eye, a rare sense of cultural norms, a measured and compassionate grasp of what makes us human. Some movies transcend time and circumstance--we overlook the dated clothes, long gone prejudices and antiquated behaviors because we see in its execution the larger, less time bound insights it offers the viewer. This is one of those movies: never a dull turn, a too slowly paced scene, a wasted use of the word in this movie. I give a copy of this movie as presents to the people I care for year after year. I give it knowing that their lives will change once they see this movie. Please give this movie your best attention, you will never regret the choice. This movie will become one of those moments you will wish to share with others. Judith Guest, the author of the book from which this movie was generated, should be proud that this movie is, I think, one of the few which do its original source justice. You can nit pick and whine about this movie, to be sure, but such will not diminish the transcendent jewel this movie has become. ...more info
  • Ordinary People - brilliant
    Since this movie was released in theaters in the '80's, it has been one of my all-time favorites. Each time I watch it, something new strikes me. The truths are not always obvious, "new" details strike at each viewing. This movie stands alone in its quiet truths about a family's difficulties: following a series of tragedies involving their two sons: the accidental death of the older son, and the attempted sucide of the younger son Conrad, played by Timothy Hutton. The story opens when Conrad is desperately trying to move past his self-blame. The various reactions to these events are what the story is about; subsequent emotions are either slowly revealed or more stubbornly squelched as in the case of the mother, played by Mary Tyler Moore. High school friends are also grieving and relationships are so realistically altered forever. That is real life. The character studies are absolutely brilliant, as is the web of relationships as they are also revealed and further developed. The acting is convincing and I would even say, in my opinion, perfect. While all is superbly handled in this film, to me, from the first time I've seen it, above all this is Timothy Hutton's movie. His portrayal of young Conrad is heart-wrenching and so incredibly sincere. How he expresses in voice, facial expression, and posture his emotional turmoil is nothing short of genius. His character has been dealt a cruel hand to play and he is having much difficulty, but as he faces his own emotions, this has a chain effect in every direction, from his relationships and activities in high school, to his relationship with his parents, inadvertently causing them to also deal with their own emotions (or not). The kindness and insight of his psychiatrist is played beautifully by Judd Hirsch. There are times in my own life that this film is too painful to watch, but in general it has become a seasonal tradition to launch autumn and the following holiday season. The visual effects of beautiful fall colors, warm lighting, stark emptiness of that overly tidy house, and the normalcy of high school activities all work together to round out the ordinary surrounding of these "Ordinary People." ...more info
  • Using Ordinary People in the college classroom
    I used Ordinary People in a course I teach in Abnormal Psychology. The movie does an excellent job of showing that the person in the family who seeks mental health care isn't necessarily the person who needs helps most. It also shows that sometimes, "going crazy" is sometimes the most normal thing a person can do. The clothing is late 70's and some of the language is dated but overall the movie does a great job of showing a family in crisis after a tragedy. I highly recommend this movie!...more info
  • One of the best films of all time
    Well, this film is easily one of the best I've ever seen. I saw it for the first time around 1981. It was odd, since i was watching with my own dysfunctional family when I was about 14. It's a film that moves you every time you watch it and you can take away something different each time. This is the mark of superb writing, acting and directing. I can't believe that this was Redford's first attempt at directing. It boggles the mind. Just the natural scenes of suburban Chicago alone are well-done.
    Although Mary Tyler Moore, Sutherland and Hirch do fantastic jobs as Conrad's parents and psychiatrist, trying to get inside his head, it was Hutton's performance as Conrad that moved me most. He portrays the son left behind by a brother who died in a boating accident. When the movie begins, Conrad has just returned to "normal" after being in the hospital for months due to a suicide attempt. It is ironic that the title is "ordinary" people as this family is far from ordinary. But Hutton's performance, with both emotionality and such a sense of emptiness is one of the most vivid performances I've ever seen. What ever happened to Tim Hutton anyway ?
    Mary Tyler Moore's performance of the cold Beth, who seems to still blame Conrad on her favorite son Buck's death, is impeccable. It really makes sense that you could get performances out of her and Tim Hutton of this caliber since both just lost a relative (she her son and Hutton his father) right before filming. Donald Sutherland really portrays the kind of father everyone wants, let's just admit it. He cares very much about his son ! To the point that he would visit his shrink to learn more about what he's going through. Excellent performance and I still don't know why he wasn't nominated.
    I could write a short book about this film. Suffice it to say that everyone should see it, despite whether you view your family of origin as dysfunctional or not. We can all relate to certain themes: hiding feelings, being afraid to face pain, facing pain and not knowing what to do with it, loss of friendship, loss of love, "walking on eggshells" in your own home. Ordinary People is an extraordinary film !...more info
  • Realistic Look at a Family in Crisis
    This movie has some interesting elements related to family and relational issues following that death of a member. There were a lot of interesting components regarding post-traumatic stress and survivor guilt. The roles of the different family members during the crisis provided a snapshot of a realistic grief situation. The therapeutic relationship between the psychiatrist and Conrad (the surviving son) was interesting to watch in terms of style in rapport building and confrontation. Overall, this is a good movie. ...more info
  • Did they really used to make movies like this?

    I came across this movie on Amazon.com one day, and wow, did the memories come pouring back....

    It is the fall of 1980, in St. Louis, Missouri, the third year of medical school. My friends and classmates have been scattered by our different clinical rotation assignments, divided up and swallowed whole into the innards of the WUMS hospitals.

    On this day, by chance, I run into Cynthia again. She is the America's Sweetheart of our class. It has been some time since I last saw or talked with Cyn. I had met her on the very first day of medical school, and had asked her to be in my gross anatomy lab group. For an entire year, we had talked, and traded jibes and jokes, and shared in the black humor and friendship needed to keep our sanity while dissecting our cadaver, studying six hours a day, and living in the confines of Olin Hall.

    I had a crush on Cyn, but so did half the male students in the class. It turned out that we were very different, though, and we had gone our separate ways after the first year.

    And so with this chance encounter, we talk again at length, as old comrades, sharing in the emotional exhaustion of our two and a quarter year journey. We have become transformed, since that first day of medical school, from carefree, high-spirited college graduates, giddy at having arrived in medical school, into serious, dour professionals....molded to become responsible and diligent and conformist proto-doctors, our faces creased with the beginnings of worry lines.

    Ordinary People is showing now, I mention casually to Cyn. Do you want to go see it? Yes! she says eagerly, and so off we go. It is the only time I ever go out on a date with Cyn.

    I remember now, Cyn, that you let me pay for your movie ticket. I remember that you cried during the scene when Conrad recounted what happened on the sailboat, at the climax of the film. I remember I looked at you with sympathy, and you were a bit embarrassed and said, "Thanks for not making fun of me".

    And that was the last time I remember talking to you at length, Cynthia. Twenty months later, we would graduate, and two months after that I would get married. And I have never seen you again.

    But I heard, Cynthia, that you became a psychiatrist, like Dr. Berger in the movie, and probably you are one heck of a great psychiatrist.......more info
  • Wretched celebration of dysfunction
    An unbelievably bad movie that revels in the emotional swamp of completely dysfunctional and unrealistic characters.

    Gross overacting by most of the cast.

    A movie for people who have no understanding of real human emotions and/or who are so dead to real human emotions that they are attempting to jump start their emotions with this overly melodramatic cinematic train wreck....more info

  • A first class dysfunctional family drama
    Ordinary People has to be one of the most well directed movies about a classic dysfunctional family ever. Mary Tyler Moore's performance as the intollerant mother Beth Jarret is superb. In the Lake Forest Cocktail Party scene her aggrivation with her husband's telling their friends about son Conrad's therapy becomes evident and she lashes out at her husband played by Donald Sutherland on the way home. In this movie the goal of protecting appearances in this affluent family stands in the way of dealing with the tremendous loss of a son and destoys what is left of them....more info
  • 3.5 stars out of 4
    The Bottom Line:

    All debate over the 1981 Best Picture and Director notwithstanding, Ordinary People is a family drama made with uncommon skill and acted with flair by all three of its leads; if you like cold films about tragedy then seek this one out. ...more info
  • the truest form of raw human emotion
    For anyone who hasn't seen "Ordinary People," you really should see it right away. I first watched it as a huge fan of Mary Tyler Moore. What I saw, I never expected. Mary Tyler Moore breaks her comedic, enduring style to play a hauntingly distant mother. The move is absolutely brilliant. At first, I was angered, throwing pillows at the television in seeing my hero play a character who baffled me so. Then, from my love for her, grew a profound admiration for her talent. No role or portrayal has ever affected me in the same way. Adding to MTM's sheer brilliance, is the amazing performances turned in by Donald Sutherland and Timothy Hutton. Donald Sutherland, who is able to steel a movie with small roles, stays in the background of attention in this film. Yet, at the same time, his portrayal of the pathetic father, trying to hold his family together, is amazing and overlooked. Timothy Hutton is very much deserving of the Oscar he won for his performance, although it should have been a best actor as opposed to best supporting actor. As the depressed son, trying to find his place back in society, Hutton displays his talent at drawing us into a character and trying to understand what he is going through. Judd Hirsch, plays his psychiatrist, and is equally amazing. It is a far better portrait of a psychatrist than Good Will Hunting ever thought of portraying. He is the psychiatrist anyone would want to go to in times of trouble.
    This picture is the best dramatic film of all time. While the ordinary is the upper middle class ordinary, it is like any family dealing with loss. Mary Tyler Moore gives us the greatest display of acting since Katharine Hepburn took the screen. As strong as Sissy Spacek's performance in Coal Miner's Daughter was, it does not compare to the profound and deep portrayal Mary Tyler Moore weaves us in. Robert Redford excercised brilliant casting for his Directorial Debut. He further enhances his brilliance with the style and score of the film. The story is a classic, and the film remains true to Judith Guest's novel. The film will affect you every time you see it. This film is not to be missed. It truely is one of the greatest films of all time....more info
  • A look at life.
    A real eyeopener. Makes you stop and think about family realationships and life in general. Robert Redfords first movie? If i were guessing, I would guess it to be one of his later movies for it is flawless. The imagery is outstanding, the music haunting, the acting magnificent. Why did Mary Tyler Moore not grave the OSCAR? for her performance as the 'blinded mother' was uterly amazing. Watch it if you havent! ...more info
  • Not an Ordinary Film
    Every once in a while, a film comes along that makes you want to destroy your TV set. This film is it for me. Watching America's sweetheart transform herself into a distant, emotionless, cold woman was almost too much for me. I wanted to throw something at my TV. And I continued to watch, mostly in shock as the story unfolded. The direction was amazing. Robert Redford paced this film to perfection. The score - Pachabel's canon was perfect. The acting was so fantastic, it was unbellievable how believable they were. Timothy Hutton received a well deserved Oscar. Mary Tyler Moore was denied her much deserved oscar for this film. Donald Sutherland and Judd Hirsh put it all together with amazing performances. I just can't say enough; the film left me speechless. It was, in one word, brilliant....more info
  • Whiny
    Like watching a bunch of 4-year-olds throwing temper tantrums about early bedtimes. The main characters in this film spend their time either sulking petulantly or delivering semi-coherent, self-indulgent speeches.

    The movie is nonetheless well-shot, with some superb scoring to Pachelbel's Canon. Indeed, the opening montage, in which scenery shots dissolve to the choir performing, is great. It also gives interesting insight into its era. But Ice Storm revisited that kind of material with less emoting, as did Stand By Me. If this movie had been cut by an hour, with the talking/whining elided, it could have been great....more info
  • healing with counseling
    I first saw the movie & then read Judith Guest's book. Both made a deep impression on me. The movie is passionately & beautifully made & all the acting superb.

    What most impressed me, however, was that it addresses a vital process -- the psychology of dysfunctional families & of getting counseling through recovery from trauma -- Judd Hirsch intensely plays the psychiatrist.

    Almost everyone, in the books I review, could do with a dose of counseling, although it is the rare author who takes this process seriously or considers it worth writing about, & I know from personal experience: counseling does heal, if you use it with that intention.

    A Rebeccasreads First Rate Recommendation, certainly a movie which will get you talking afterwards....more info

  • Possibly the best film of my generation.
    This is a mini review of one of my all time top 10 favorite films

    Robert Redford's directorial debut is a wonderful adaptation of Judith Guest's novel about a suburban Chicago family in crisis. Redford's direction elicits breakout performances from Tim Hutton, Judd Hirsch, Mary Tyler Moore, and Donald Sutherland.

    This drama unfolds in the aftermafth of Conrad Jarrett's (Hutton) attemmpted suicide. The movie chronicles how the entire Jarrett family deal (or don't deal) with the tragic death of Conrad's brother Buck in a boating accident.

    The film evenly deals with such difficult family trauma's but does so in a way that at once realistic and hopeful....more info

  • A realistic look at how death can affect a family
    A good friend of mine had recently recommended to me "Ordinary People". I was only six at the time when the film came out. Being a fan of character study films, I thought I would have to check out "Ordinary People".

    "Ordinary People" stars Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland, and Timothy Hutton as the Jarrett family. They had recently lost their older son Buck due to a tragic boating accident. The film focuses on the aftermath of Buck's death. Buck was the favorite son of Beth Jarrett (Mary Tyler Moore). After losing Buck, Beth finds it virtually impossible to show any kindness or affection to her younger son Conrad. In some way, she subconsciously blames Conrad for Buck's death. Donald Sutherland plays Calvin Jarrett, the father who tries to be there emotionally for his wife and son but does not know how to fix the huge gap between his wife and son.

    Since he is unable to find solace in comfort in his family, Conrad finds comfort in his sympathetic psychiatrist Dr. Tyrone C. Berger (Judd Hirsch). Timothy Hutton's scenes with Judd Hirsch were heartbreaking to say the very least, especially when Conrad is forced to confront the boating accident. You'll understand why Timothy Hutton won an Oscar for his performance.

    "Ordinary People" did move a little slowly at times for me but overall the film was well crafted. The human dynamics between the members of the Jarrett family were realistic and emotionally moving. It was good seeing Mary Tyler Moore take on a role that wasn't as perky or idealistic as her famous tv character. Donald Sutherland, Judd Hirsch, and Timothy Hutton were equally wonderful to watch. ...more info
  • excellent movie
    Faithful adaptation of Judith Guest's novel of an upper middle class family coming apart after the death of there eldest son and the attempted suicide of the younger son. Strong performances by all four leads and masterful direction from Robert Redford make Alvin Sargents powerful, intelligent script seem even better....more info
  • An outstanding film
    This is a classic in film. Strong cast, intense emotional content as the characters go through their various journeys, well done cinematography, good dialog, and a very moving story.

    Sutherland is great as the father (as always), Hutton is great as the traumatized surviving son, Mary Tyler Moore delivers an incredible (and personally significant) performance as the mother, and Hirsch is outstanding as the therapist who is helping Hutton's character put his life back together after a suicide attempt in the wake (no pun intended) of a boating accident that claimed the life of his older, much adored, brother.

    The film shows the progression of emotional conflicts, trials and triblulations as these three people try and make sense of life afer an untimely death. The story is primarily told through Hutton's character.

    It is a highly cathartic and moving film, particularly if you have ever lost a loved one to an accident. The scenes with Hutton and Hirsch are especially intense, as is the scene where Moore finally loses her extreme self control. Mary Tyler Moore is just amazing in that scene.

    Robert Redford's directing debut, I believe, and a darned fine one at that. I consider this to be one of the greatest films of all time, and watch it about once a year to experience the emotional release. Highly recommended.

    My copy is VHS, so I can't comment on the DVD version differences....more info

  • A poignant story!
    Every time, I watch this movie, it brings in some change in me the way I look at the world out there, especially the family relations and the ability of the kids in enduring the pain.

    Poignant indeed....more info
  • one of the great all-time films
    in an age of faster and bigger is necessarily better, Ordinary People is a quiet gem that builds in power with each scene. Redford is not afraid to set the camera down and let the characters speaks for themselves. Knockout performances from everyone, but Donald Sutherland's emotionally fearful father is beautiful. A film that takes real life and turns it into art....more info


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