Kramer vs. Kramer

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Released 1979

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Movie Summary

Director:
Robert Benton
Released:
1979
Rating:
PG

Kramer vs. Kramer is a 1979 drama from writer-director Robert Benton that stars Academy Award-winner Dustin Hoffman and Academy Award-winner Meryl Streep in a story about the widespread damage caused by one couple's drawn-out and brutal divorce, based on the novel of the same name by Avery Corman. Hoffman plays Ted Kramer, an advertising executive whose personal life takes a backseat to his demanding and time-consuming career. Streep plays Ted's wife, Joanna, a strong-willed woman who is fed up with Ted's absentee role in their family. One day, Ted comes home to find Joanna walking out the door, leaving him to take care of their son, Billy, while she tries to find herself. When she eventually returns and demands custody of their son, a divorce trial begins that threatens to destroy both of their lives, as their respective lawyers unleash scathing character assassinations to gain favor in the ensuing trial.Kramer vs. Kramer is a touching portrait of a family falling apart and rebuilding in the wake of a destructive separation.

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Kramer vs. Kramer is a movie of good performances, and it had to be, because the performances can't rest on conventional melodrama.

  • 90

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    Kramer vs. Kramer is densely packed with such beautifully observed detail. It is also superbly acted by its supporting cast, including Jane Alexander, Howard Duff and George Coe.

  • 90

    Variety

    Kramer vs. Kramer is a perceptive, touching, intelligent film about one of the raw sores of contemporary America, the dissolution of the family unit.

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    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    gender roles, single life, marital trouble, moving on, Legal