“Kramer vs. Kramer,” The 1979 52nd Best Picture: The Movies Of The 1970’s And The Storms Of 2017 — There Is Hope

Transitions can be rough, and the transition from the summer of 2017 to the fall of 2017 has been just that: horrible hurricanes, devastating flooding, terrible earthquakes, property destroyed and lives lost. The last weeks have been very challenging for so many and very sad for all of us. We thank God for the responders, the selfless and unselfish people, who have done so much for so many. Thank you.

It is difficult to predict the future: the weather and our personal lives

It can happen that someone doesn’t notice that things aren’t going well until they aren’t and it’s too late to stop what’s going to happen and then it gets even worse.

Ted didn’t notice. Ted is a young father, an advertising executive in busy New York, and a workaholic. He’s having a great day, one of his very best days ever, when the storm hits and his life comes crashing down. His wife, Joanna, can’t take him any longer. She walks out, into the hall and leaves Ted with their 8-year old son, Billy, as the elevator door closes. Ted looks around for support and finds a demanding and uncaring boss who fires him and a recently divorced gossip of a neighbor buried under the weight of her own grief. Ted has no one but Billy, and Billy has no one but Ted. The father and son are their only responders. Isolated in the wreck of their lives, they struggle and fight and laugh and somehow manage to stay standing together. Despite insurmountable odds and recurrent obstacles, they somehow manage to survive and grow closer. At show’s end, the elevator door closes on Joanna who leaves father and son to their new-made relationship.

It’s just a show. “Kramer vs. Kramer” is a film, a movie that won the Best Picture for 1979. Dustin Hoffman plays Ted, Meryl Streep plays Joanna, and Justin Henry plays Billy. It’s not real. What it portrays is.

Storms hit and they hurt, and then it’s not about what the storm did, it’s about what the people do — in the movies and in real life.

The 1970’s had some great movies: Patton, The French Connection, The Godfather, The Sting, The Godfather Part II, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Rocky, Annie Hall, The Deer Hunter, and Kramer vs. Kramer. Of all those very good movies, our EthnoFamilyMovieOgraphy audience rated Kramer vs. Kramer #3 behind The Godfather and Rocky. Why?

The summary sentence derived from the like and dislikes is this:

Most liked the acting of father Ted (Dustin Hoffman), mother Joanna (Meryl Streep) and young son Billy (Justin Henry), while most disliked the uncomfortable topic of the mother leaving her child, the portrayal of divorce in today’s society, the uncaring attitudes of the attorneys and the overall unfairness of the judicial system; the father-son relationship is the focus of this film and the story of that growing and often humorous relationship is what makes the movie and holds the audience.

It’s real, it’s timely, it hurts, and it leaves you with hope for the future.

To all those who suffer the storms of life: Stay Standing.

There is hope — at the movies and in real life.

Stay Standing. We are with you.

There is hope.


Grandpa Jim