Ted Kramer's wife leaves her husband, allowing for a lost bond to be rediscovered between Ted and his son, Billy. But a heated custody battle ensues over the divorced couple's son, deepening the wounds left by the separation.
Ted Kramer is a career man for whom his work comes before his family. His wife Joanna cannot take this anymore, so she decides to leave him. Ted is now faced with the tasks of housekeeping and taking care of himself and their young son Billy. When he has learned to adjust his life to these new responsibilities, Joanna resurfaces and wants Billy back. Ted, however, refuses to give him up, so they go to court to fight for the custody of their son. Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
The final courtroom scene had one important rewrite: Joanna's explanation of why she left. Robert Benton feared major delays but, in fact, Meryl Streep had in mind what she wanted and quickly rewrote the monologue. Benton said, "Well, the scene is brilliant. I cut only two lines. What you see there is hers." See more »
Mr. Kramer's lawyer tells him that, if he wishes to appeal the decision granting custody to his ex-wife, his son would have to take the stand. On an appeal, no new evidence is called, and therefore the son would not be called as a witness. See more »
Kramer vs. Kramer is one film to hold on too and not forget. It isn't one of the most popular films ever made and is certainly one of the weakest best picture films, but it does not mean it still isn't important. I thought the movie was well done and made you just want to watch more and more of it. The performances were the best positive for the film and Dustin Hoffman played one of his best roles he's ever done as the lonely workaholic who has to take care of his son, as his wife separates from him. Billy, who is Hoffman's son, played another great performance along with Meryl Streep, playing the depressed mother of Billy. Kramer vs. Kramer is not one of the greatest films and is not a perfect 10, but it succeeds in making the film worth watching and worth caring about it. Certainly, one of Hoffman's best films he's ever done. I highly recommend it.
Hedeen's Outlook: 9/10 ***+ A-
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