19 February 2011

Kramer vs Kramer Review (contains spoilers)

This is the final review in my Glasgow Film Festival series of reviews. Overall I really enjoyed the festival films I watched and the films released in the Glasgow cinemas at the time. It is a shame that I couldn't watch Battle Royale 3D, The Deer Hunter and Superman 2: The Richard Donner Cut (first time showing in a UK cinema). So now, onto Kramer vs Kramer. Now this review does contain spoilers so to those who don't want to know how the film ends do not click on the jump.
The plot of Kramer vs Kramer, about a man looking after his son after his wife leaves him and a custody battle that ensues when the wife comes back, has real relevance and meaning in this society of constant divorce. The performance of Dustin Hoffman, who was at the time going through a divorce, feels really natural and is the best performance in his whole career, the feelings that Hoffman gives to Ted Kramer feel very much like a proper man going through a divorce and the scene where Hoffman throws a wine glass against a restaurant wall was completely improvised, as shown by Meryl Streep's reaction and feels very genuine, like a real man whose wife wants custody of a child after leaving for 15 months. Speaking of Meryl Streep, she gives a really good performance as Joanne Kramer, the high-points of her performance were when she was cross examined during the custody hearing and when she goes up to visit Billy for the last time while talking to Ted. This scene really shows the emotion of the character and rightfully earned Streep her first Oscar. Justin Henry does a good job as Billy, giving a really believable performance. There are some scenes that work more than others and some really funny scenes, the first attempt at breakfast being the highlight. Some of the dialogue feels a bit stale and the delivery by actors other than Hoffman, Streep and Henry feels a bit wooden. Still this is a really great and emotional film, with Dustin Hoffman giving the performance of his career.
My Rating: 4/5
That concludes my Glasgow Film Festival series, in my opinion the films I saw ranked like this:

  1. True Grit
  2. Paul
  3. Kramer vs Kramer
  4. Breakfast at Tiffany's
See you soon for my next review, which will probably be The Adjustment Bureau

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