Film: Ordinary People

Opened: September 19, 1980

Directed by: Robert Redford

Starring: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, Timothy Hutton, Elizabeth McGovern, M. Emmet Walsh, Scott Doebler & Dinah Manoff

Based on the Judith Guest novel of the same name, Ordinary People was the triumphant directorial debut from actor Robert Redford that constantly pulls at your emotions.

After the accidental death of their son Buck (Scott Doebler), the Jarrett family is breaking apart. Patriarch Calvin (Donald Sutherland) tries to hold them together as his wife Beth (Mary Tyler Moore) refuses to feel emotions and their son Conrad (Timothy Hutton) seeks the help of a psychiatrist (Judd Hirsch).

In his first feature film, Hutton has realistic highs and lows in the aftermath of the death. He’s not afraid to bring any and every emotion to the table.

Society has come a long way from shaming people about therapy making Moore’s Beth painful to watch, but at the same time you’ll somehow sympathize with her.

Final say: A heartbreaking family affair. ★★★★★

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