Hi guys! I'm very much back from my hiatus. I had my exam week which was very stressful, and I also had that monologue acting competition that I was talking about in my last post... Guess what guys. I WON!!!!! Yay! I was so thrilled. Learned from this experience: I would be so bad at oscar acceptance speeches. They called my name as the winner and I went, "ME?" then skipped up to get my award, smiled like a doofus and gave the audience the thumbs up as they clapped me. Sophisticated I know. Anyway, that's my exciting news. But aside from that, I am socked to announce that the era of films I usually watch has recently been extended to include movies from the 1970s through the 80s. Guess who you have to thank for that? MERYL STREEP. Hope you guys wont mind too much... Anyhow, here's Kramer Vs Kramer.
Jeff is left to cope with his son, Billy (Justin Henry), who he's never had time for (he never had time for his wife, either.) It's extremely difficult at first, but they manage to bond together over their mutual loss of their wife/mother. Jeff becomes Billy's mother, father, best friend and protector. But their whole life is thrown off balance when Joanna comes back asking for custody of her child.
Therein starts a court case which delves deep into the emotional traumas that caused the breakup, and a ferocious fight over who has more of a right to Billy. Joanna gives an extremely emotional and heart-wrenching testimony, and so does Jeff. It looks neck in neck. Who will win custody of Billy?
The direction is beautiful. Raw, but still beautiful. Meryl Streep claims he was a very easy going director who very much let the creative juices of the actors flow. She compared it to the directing style of Woody Allan (she was working on Manhattan, 1979, an Kramer Vs Kramer simultaneously) who would stop her mid-take and say "Meryl... There's, there's a comma... in the middle of that sentence." Meryl replied, "Yes?" "Why don't you use it?" Allan said.
Dustin Hoffman is wonderful in this film. He's very sensitive, which is something I don't usually find him. He really is an extremely instinctive actor. However, sometimes this "instinctive-ness" and "improvisation" went a little too far. There are all sorts of stories or Dustin slapping Meryl streep before takes to get her to be cross with him and Dustin smashing glasses in scenes without telling anyone.
Meryl Streep is fantastic as Joanna. Her court scene is one of the most moving scenes I've ever seen. I'm sorry I just can't deal. Also, the way she is with Justin Henry is the sweetest thing ever. Also I need hair like that now. It's amazing. Oh my god. Seriously, It's my goal. But I really think she's now definitely on my favourites list. She's an incredible actress. Yay Meryl!!!
These two are backed by a fabulous supporting cast. Justin Henry who plays Billy is one of the best child actors I've ever seen. So "instinctive" and emotional. Gotta love him. Especially in the famous ice-cream scene.
Also very good is Jane Alexander, the recently divorced neighbour of Jeff and Joanna. It's not an easy part to play without it seeming self-righteous and she does a great - and humorous - job. Though, she lost out on an academy award for best supporting actress to Meryl Streep for her performance as Joanna. In all honesty there was no-one else that award could possibly have gone to.
All in all, I loved this film. Can't really think of any negatives. Watch it!