‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ Is an Emotional Masterpiece

Roughly half a year ago I watched Marriage Story and I absolutely loved it. It was funnier than expected and it was riveting. Plus, it felt like a really smart and well-written film. My mother said that if I liked it that I should watch Kramer vs. Kramer, the movie that essentially became the blueprint for these type of divorce dramas, so I finally got around to watching it today and boy was I engrossed.

Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) | MUBI

Kramer vs. Kramer is definitely a late 1970s’ take on the story as it completely frames the wife as the villain of the story while the father is branded as the hero in little Billy (that’s their son’s) life. In a way, the same thing kind of happens in Marriage Story with Scarlett Johansson’s character becoming a bit of the villain in the story even though Adam Driver’s character is ultimately the one that destroys the marriage when he decides to cheat with a fellow co-worker.

But despite Marriage Story‘s modern spin on the classic divorce drama it doesn’t come close to the enjoyment that I felt watching Kramer vs. Kramer.

Kramer vs. Kramer is a masterclass in building the emotional stakes of a divorce until by the end of the movie I couldn’t stop crying. My goodness, Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep, two of my favorite actors of all time because clearly, they’re amazing! did such wonders with this film. Hoffman perfectly portrays a hard-working father whose life is upended when his wife just suddenly leaves him and yet he is completely dedicated to his son. And Streep perfectly embodies the miserable wife who’s a bit mentally challenged but never loses the love for her son. Put these two powerhouse actors together in a movie and yeah, the tears are going to flow.

Kramer vs. Kramer won all five of the big Oscar nominations; Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Writing for a reason! It’s an amazing film that really sucked me in and had me more than impressed by the end of it.

I still love Marriage Story for everything that it is and I will definitely be watching it again but Kramer vs. Kramer is better just by the two primary actors alone. I mean, I love Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson but…they’re no Hoffman or Streep.

I’m giving this movie 100 out of 100 and 5 out of 5 stars. It was perfect.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a tremendous day.

(By the way, I just realized yesterday that Hoffman plays Captain Hook in Hook. Now that I know that, he may be my favorite actor of all time. Oh my goodness, he played the perfect Captain Hook and there’s no one who can do a better job in my opinion. In fact, I like that version of Captain Hook more than the Disney version. Hoffman is exceptional at his craft.)

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