Ordinary People

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  • 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
  • Ordinary People
    I thought this was an excellent movie that showed the raw emotions of a family going through a crisis. ...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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
    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
  • 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
  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

  • "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
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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
    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 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
  • No ordinary movie
    "Ordinary Peole" deservingly won the Oscar for Best Picture of 1980. It desplicts realities of those in such living turmoil. It proves that such awful feelings toward oneself can strike those with the seemingly perfect life. It explores the after-effects of a family once they lose a child, and once the other attempts suicide. Robert Redford makes his Oscar winning directorial debut, leading the cast and crew to create a flawless, unforgettable masterpiece.

    Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore(Calvin and Beth Jerrad) play the lead roles as the supporting father and the selfish non-loving mother. Their marriage is on the verge of divorce due to Beth's lack of support of their living son Conrad, played by Timothy Hutton. Conrad faces guilt after losing his brother, Buck, in a boating accident a year ago. His psychologist forces him to confront every life aspect.

    Every actor portrays their character delightfully, forcing every drop of emotion to the audience, even those with limited screentime. Timothy Hutton deserved his Oscar win for Best Supporting Actor. Mary Tyler Moore and Judd Hirsch deserved their Oscar nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. Why wasn't Donald Sutherland nominated for his best role of his career? Who knows.

    Those looking for a serious drama should watch "Ordinary People". One may have to think about the events after the first watch. Those who've watched it twenty times still discover new interesting details....more info

  • A major environmental source for parents of adolescents
    The narration of the psychosocial movie is based on some serious challenges they face in raising their adolescent son since his adult brother died in the auto accident. In the middle of the movie, the teenager felt somewhat solemn for short periods of time but his choir school helped him with most of the deep struggling relief of his psychological pain. In many sessions, he went to visit his psychiatrist alone who works extremely hard in evaluating his current knowledgeable status that sometimes affect his ability to perform well academically in school. Until the solution has finally resolved, his painful emotions were superbly cured, a part to his final suicide attempt.

    In particular, it was so tough for the young man to relate to his parents during the painful, perilous time. In this situation, his mind acts like the storm rages in his brain and the hormones do actually go nuts too. Therefore, at the end of the film, it was their decision for his parents to seperate prior to the adolescent wanting to be completely joyful again.

    The End

    For those who are still raising adolescents but expriencing serious difficulty relating to them must get this soulful, educational film for you to remember all your lives....more info

  • "Ordinary People" deserves more than 5 stars!
    I saw this movie on the big screen when it was released in 1980 - I was just 14 years old. Timothy Hutton was a newcomer, but I had grown up watching, and adoring Mary Tyler-Moore on TV on her show, and reruns of "The Dick Van Dyke Show". It was somewhat startling to see her in this role of the icy-cold Beth Jarrett, but after a few moments on-screen one forgets completely that we're watching "Mare!" and she instantly becomes this character.

    I can't say enough about this movie - it has always been one of my top five favorite all-time films.

    Robert Redford (who won a Best Director Oscar) did a superb job casting and directing it. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but can anyone imagine other actors in the roles of "Conrad" (Timothy Hutton - who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar), "Calvin" (incredibly, heart-breakingly-portrayed by Donald Sutherland)and of course "Beth"? Who other than Judd Hirsch can you imagine bringing such tenderness, caring and compassion to the character of Conrad's psychiatrist, "Dr. Berger"?

    As another reviewer stated so succinctly, there are so many layers to this film, you literally can't blink, or you'll miss something. In fact, 23 years later, having watched it maybe fifty times, I still have a new realization in every viewing.

    I've also read the book, and while it was a wonderful book, the movie is far and away more emotional.

    Be prepared; this is not a "feel-good" movie by any stretch of the imagination. It is thought-provoking, tragic, emotional and gut-wrenching, and it might make you re-evaluate aspects of your life. The subject-content (accidental death, severe depression, suicide) is very serious and can be upsetting or even depressing.

    This film also won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1980. I must add that no matter how incredible the entire cast, Timothy Hutton is the STAR of this film, and the Oscar he won, though well-earned, should have been for Best Actor. Whomever thinks that the role of Conrad was a supporting one, needs to re-evaluate that opinion.

    If you're considering purchasing this movie, do not consider further - just order it. It's one of those "must-have" for your collection.

    You will not regret it....more info

  • Best Picture Academy Awared, 1980. Best dramatic film ever!
    This is simply the best dramatic film ever made.

    Tremendous insight into forgiveness of self and others. Every person on the planet should see this film.

    Superb performances all the way around. A true masterpiece....more info

  • A Beautiful Film
    Everything has been said,but I just want to tell the world,
    "Ordinary People" is not to be missed.I had the wonderful
    privilege of watching it the other day and have not stopped
    thinking about it since.It is a heartbreaking,emotionally
    moving family drama.With marvelous acting performances by ALL
    and a lovely music score.It will haunt,captivate,and remain
    with you for a lifetime.Watch it and see what I mean.
    Well done,Robert Redford!...more info
  • The revealing truth about ordinary ORDINARY PEOPLE
    If I could rate a film 10 stars then I would...so I will (who's stopping me!)

    Robert Redford's directorial debut film ORDINARY PEOPLE is still the single,most profound revealing of the family full of secrets that must keep its thin veneer from cracking exposing the truth: ordinary people,you and I,our friends, our work companions,may be living a guise of happiness and perfect and complete tranquility, while all the while suffering severely from secret guilt and shame,and having no where to turn!

    The film singlehandedly opened the doors for me,personally,in the Summer of 1980, to delving into my "perfect family" past.I can credit no other source than this Mary Tyler Moore,Donald Sutherland,Timothy Hutton,Judd Hirsch acted expose on what first coined the term "the dysfunctional family"-a phrase that hitherto was not known,but has become a household staple (pun intended)since this film was released.

    ORDINARY PEOPLE is a timeless piece of art that will never go out of fashion.Why? Because the truth that this film enlightens never goes away:many (99% with the other 1% still in denial!) American families keep up appearances due to whatever their social standing in the community might be.In this film's case,an older son (Timothy Hutton) has been trying to keep on going in his teen years after the death of his younger brother in a boating accident.He returns home to the "perfect" family,Mary Tyler Moore and Donald Sutherland who present the idyllic upper middle class image.But there is something eerie and icy about this homelife that can only be seen from the inside.Everyone is affected by it, but no one can or is willing or is yet able to articulate what the problem is! Timothy Hutton seeks out a therapist (a deadpan,right-on clinician-type Judd Hirsch) who is the catalyst through which Hutton's character comes to full enlightenment about the worthless emotions of misplaced guilt.This enlightenment threatens the very thread bare fabric of this family, and the sparks start to fly in ways that still have yet to be captured on film with such nuance and accuracy.Only the films THE HANGING GARDEN and THE ICE STORM have even remotely approached the power of ORDINARY PEOPLE. This story is unparalleled IMO in the world of family dynamics.That this film was Movie of the Year still stands as a testament to the resilient direction and acting in this film... with no special effects,no car chases, no CGI...but rather the cream of the crop actors demonstrating their fine-honed craft and a then-young director with a vision to tell a story about ordinary people.

    If you need to take a look at your family dynamics,then it started here and still starts here...ORDINARY PEOPLE!...more info
  • Heart Wrenching!
    This movie is a must see for anyone dealing with (or not dealing with) pain. I won't rehash the plot of the film as many reviewers prior to me have done. I will say that I think Mary Tyler Moore's portrayal of the fragile ice queen Beth is excellent. Donald Sutherland gives an excellent performance as the sensitive and emotionally generous Calvin. Many have speculated that Beth doesn't love her son Conrad. I think she does love Conrad in her own way. After Buck's death (as Calvin so eloquently states at one point in the film) Beth has built an emotional wall which is the only way she can cope with her profound sense of loss after her eldest son's death. Another telling moment in the film is when Calvin tells Beth "We would have been ok if there hadn't been any mess." "You can't handle mess." This is the crux of the movie. How we all, in our own ways cope with mess. Some of us tackle it head on. Some of us choose to exit life at our own hands, and others choose to close themselves off emotionally because the pain is just to great. ...more info
  • Ordinary People
    Very good movie. Good for people training in therapy. Robert Redford is an awsome director!...more info
  • "An Amazing Disturbing Movie"
    I rarely make reviews for movies, but I had to for "Ordinary People". I haven't been this bothered by a film since seeing "Mommie Dearest" 10 years ago. Mary Tyler Moore steals the film as the cold hearted mother who blames her son for her other son's death. What makes the film so excellent is how Mary Tyler Moore pulls off the acting job of a lifetime. I never knew she could play a bitch and she makes it look so believable. The scene when she comes homes and confronts her son after learning he quit the swim team is provocative, and you can see the look of anger in her eyes. The best scene in the film. Timothy Hutton is excellent as the son and he desevedly won the Oscar. Without a doubt an excellent film and one that had "Best Picture" written all over it. It even beat "Raging Bull" that year. Sit back and enjoy one of the most dramatic films ever made even if it is 27 years old. Wonderful art never goes out of style. I will also never look at Mary Tyler Moore the same way again. What a wonderful dramatic actress. The film is in widescreen and comes with the theartrical trailer....more info
  • Ordinary People
    In 1980, Robert Redford made his directorial debut with "Ordinary People." The movie ended up winning Oscars for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Timothy Hutton), and Best Original Screenplay...Today, "Ordinary People" is still regarded as a good film, but the movie it beat for Best Picture ("Raging Bull") is regarded as a classic. "Ordinary People" has explosive acting, realistic family situations, and good direction...But it's not a very entertaining film and wouldn't have a chance against a movie like "Raging Bull" today. Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore play Calvin and Beth, a married couple with a young son named Conrad (Hutton). Their oldest son Buck has recently died and Conrad has recently tried to kill himself. The film follows Conrad as he attempts to adjust back to a normal life, while his parents realize how little they actually care for each other. The film is one of those movies that is very short on plot, but makes up for it with it's powerful performances and they ARE very good. Hutton, who plays more of a lead role in the film, is absolutely fantastic and truly deserved his Oscar. Also Oscar worthy are Sutherland and Moore...Anyway, I don't have much more to say about the film except...It's worth seeing for it's performances, but it's not very entertaining. Keep that in mind.

    GRADE: B-...more info
  • Heart touching story of family tragedy
    We've worn out our VHS copy and this movie continues to be a favorite for use in family studies classes at our university. I use it in FAMILY IN THE SOCIAL CONTEXT to provide a human framework for how a son's tragic death causes both overt and underlying pain in a family....more info
  • Who Else Felt Sorry for the Mother?
    Movie critic Pauline Kael assesses, "The joker about this movie is that part of the audience weeps for the unloving WASP-witch mother." Well...this is my dilemma too. I know that I'm supposed to feel sorry for Conrad, but Mary Tyler Moore's performance is so poignantly precise that I find myself feeling her pain each step of the way.

    One reviewer wrote that fifty people would give you fifty different answers about what this film is about. So true. And one answer is that it is about what losing a child does to a mother. In the abstract, we might say that we would never be like that as parents ourselves. But in reality, many of us can see aspects of our own mothers in Beth. We want to believe that the resources of love are unlimited, but following family tragedy, we find that people run out of sympathy when their own pain is too great.

    There are some lines in the book (omitted from the movie) in which the psychiatrist counters Conrad's claim that he didn't try to off himself to hurt his mother--Weren't there also Valium pills in the bathroom cabinet, not just razor blades? He made it as messy as he could. There's a saying that a suicide kills two people. That's what it's for (which is another whole aspect of this story).

    Moore's performance is a double-edged sword: She is believably demonstrative to the less needy son and aloof to the more vulnerable. It is a highly personalized portrait: You can SEE this in Moore's personality. In real life, Moore is a diabetic. And at times they need sugar to help them, and at other times sugar is poison. So she herself has to regulate her "sugar intake/metabolism" so as not to become deathly ill. (Her final scene is even tantamount to a diabetic seizure as she apparently tries to mouth the words "I love you.") In her autobiography, AFTER ALL, MTM writes of how she initially thought of her strict father when beginning to develop the character of Beth. In hindsight, she can watch the film and see a part of herself. (Her only son accidentally shot himself to death.)

    The Pollyanna in me always hopes that Beth and Calvin are only temporarily separating. But Beth wasn't willing to change her tightly controlled way of interacting, and the family unit apparently couldn't survive without a total upheaval. Judith Guest (the author of the novel) has made it clear that Beth isn't coming back--in the book or the film. The book even talks about Beth going to Europe for awhile after re-visiting her relatives in Texas.

    Guest has also suggested in an interview that the "exclusion" of women in the end is a small point of contention. In the novel, she explains, it is sort of like Beth is asked to leave. In the film, it is more like she is being told to get out. And this Out-with-the-Female feat is perhaps to the point of perplexity when we have the very actress who gave us Mary Richards, heroine of the Feminist Movement (small-screen version). One can only imagine the level of sacrifice Beth has given over the years. You will get an even stronger sense of this if you read the novel: Calvin spent time in an orphanage and Beth must have done a fair share of re-parenting of her own husband before she took on two sons: one of whom is killed, the other of whom tries to end his own life.

    The always acerbic TV critic Michael McWilliams surmises in his book TV SIRENS (A TANTALIZING LOOK AT PRIME TIME'S FABULOUS FEMALES): "Moore's performance in PEOPLE was scathingly exact, but it also endorsed the anti-feminist bias against her character. Here was a wife and mother who kept a perfect home for twenty years, and what does she get in return? Two weepy nerds in crewneck sweaters harassing her for not 'loving' them. If the movie [had] any guts, it would [have] ended with the father and son trying to figure out how to work the washing machine." There's even a scene in the book in which the father and son discuss how they are going to manage such routine household chores now that Mom is gone.

    This Exclusion of Mother is heartbreaking because one can truly see compassion toward Conrad lying beneath Beth's frosty front. But there are so many barricades up. The moment Buck's name is mentioned, she freezes like a deer caught in the headlights and can't get beyond. There is a lovely illustration of this in the deck vignette (not in the novel), wherein Beth and Conrad exhibit the characteristics of two animals who, while affectionate toward each other, speak such different languages that they cannot communicate on even a basic level.

    I didn't see Beth as a saint, but I still think the ending was heavy-handed. I like to believe that, after a lengthy vacation, there's still a chance they'll become one big happy family.

    Q. The film uses Buck's nickname throughout for the elder son. I don't think they even once use his real name. What was his real name?

    A. Jordan...more info
  • Ordinary People
    I have almost everything Robert Redford has ever done, but I am still looking!! A good movie with real-life issues, and a realistic ending. A great add to my collection!!!...more info
  • Far from Ordinary
    Ordinary People was released during the late 70's/early 80's emotional family themed era. These movies especially grappled with dysfunctional families and the pains associated with domestic strife. Ordinary People differed specifically because of solid acting from the leading actors/actresses to the stellar supporting cast. It also marked the debut of Robert Redford as a director.

    The Jarrett's are your "typical" suburban family, but with a recent tragedy that has shaken the core of their structure. The eldest son, Buck was involved in an unfortunate accident that cost him his life. Marred with guilt from the accident, young Conrad Jarrett (Timothy Hutton) blames himself for the accident and attempts to take his own life. The movie centers on the bandage Conrad's mother Beth (Mary Tyler Moore) attempts to use to shield her family from sympathy and pity from the community. This defensive stance she takes unfortunately has created significant space between her and Conrad. It is Calvin Jarrett (Donald Sutherland) who is the man stuck in the middle of hostility between a dejected son and confused mother. Calvin's awakening towards the end of the movie proves to be the means of progress that the Jarrett's were in desperate need of.

    The acting from the main characters was superb. Sutherland and Moore both complimented each other very well. Their intimacy was believable and their emotional scenes were intense. The newcomer Timothy Hutton steals the movie though as the troubled younger brother in desperate need of emotional support and guidance. Hutton's performance was emotionally charged with signs of maturity for an actor of his age. Judd Hirsch also steps up to the plate and provides some light comical relief as the psychiatrist grappling with first Conrad, then Calvin.

    In 1980 many good movies came out, but Ordinary People took home the top honors. As debated this can be, what cannot be dismissed is the effectiveness and brilliance of this movie....more info
  • We are all just ordinary people
    'Ordinary People' is one of those films that everyone can appreciate. Even if one has never been in this exact situation we have all still in one way or another felt the pain this family feels. Regardless of whether you feel 'Ordinary People' to be the best film of 80 or the film that stole the crown you really can't escape the weight a film like this carries. In the heartfelt and heartbreaking performances that seem almost too real we all can find a piece of ourselves and that's what makes this a brilliant film.

    The film follows Beth and Calvin as they mourn the death of their eldest son Buck who died in a boating accident. Their youngest son Conrad is almost left in the cold, feeling blamed for the death not by just his parents but by himself. Because of this guilt, because of this pain he tries to end his life, and if it weren't for his fathers intervention he may have been successful. The film shows the growing animosity Beth has for her son, almost as if she wished he had drown and not her dear Buck. There's one scene in particular that really struck me, when Beth's parents were over and they wanted a picture of Conrad with his mother. The tension in her voice as she pleaded with them not to take their picture, it's heartbreaking.

    Mary Tyler Moore's performance to me was the standout, far cry from her sitcom days. She showed every ounce of sincerity in what she was saying; how she was acting that an image of her tossing her hat into the air never once crossed my mind. She became Beth. Donald Sutherland is also a great actor, but his character being the quiet husband comes across background to the mother and the son which serve as the true body of the film. Calvin is the heart, but the heart is rarely seen. Timothy Hutton did brilliantly as Conrad, a boy so beat down by his guilt and so distraught over his mothers distaste for him that he can't function right. Judd Hirsch plays the psychiatrist Conrad is sent to that befriends him and helps him come to grips with his real feelings.

    Between Redford's amazing directing debut and Alvin Sargent wonderful adaptation of Judith Guest's novel of the same name you have a great movie waiting to happen, and when you add the powerful performances by everyone in the cast you get that great movie. Highly recommended to anyone!...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
  • 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
  • Bought as gift
    Depressing movie I thought. But my brohter wanted it. Arrived quickly and in good shape no complaints here....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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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