Norman is a curmudgeon with an estranged relationship with his daughter Chelsea. At Golden Pond, he and his wife nevertheless agree to care for Billy, the son of Chelsea's new boyfriend, and a most unexpected relationship blooms.
Sally Bender is the wife of a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. He is sent over to Vietnam, and Sally is alone. With nothing else to do, she decides to volunteer at a local veteran's hospital, where she meets Luke, who went to high school with Sally. Luke was wounded and is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. When Sally begins to fall in love with Luke, she has to make a crucial decision about her life. Written by
This film, the `other' 1978 movie about the Vietnam War, `Coming Home' takes a different approach than Michael Cimino's stark, shocking, `The Deer Hunter', which won a Best Picture Oscar.
Cimino used a power approach to deliver his message, drumming the filmgoer with sounds and images. Hal Ashby's `Coming Home' uses a more subdued, character approach to explore the real price of the Vietnam War.
I'm not so sure I'd agree that either Jon Voight (Academy Award-Best Actor) or Jane Fonda (Academy Award-Best Actress) is exemplary (they both won Academy Awards) but I think they are both very good. The bottom line is that this was an important movie, at a critical time, and the subject matter and its presentation really hit home. This is a film that is impossible to ignore, in 1978, or today, no matter what your political or social sensibilities may be. The language, the attitudes of all the characters is open, honest, frank. At the time this film was made, that was indeed breakthrough, for this subject matter, paramount.
An absolute must see.
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