Ted Kramer's wife leaves him, 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 strength of the performances of the two leads can be at least partly attributed to what was going on in their private lives at the time. Dustin Hoffman was in the midst of a messy divorce, while Meryl Streep was still recovering from the death of her lover, John Cazale. See more »
When Billy is waiting for Ted to fetch him after the birthday party, he sits on the chair with his left leg tucked under the right leg. In the next shot, his right leg is tucked under his left leg. See more »
A beautifully done film rich with symbolisms that could be invisible to the unaware eyes. The elevator scene for example symbolizes two main themes of the movie, separation and emotion. One could notice that the first scene showed Joanna going down the elevator, symbolizing her feeling of depression, likewise Ted goes down the elevator after the last trial scene - knowing that he probably lost the case. On the other hand, Ted brings Billy to see his new office and it was another elevator trip but this time going up, showing the joy and excitement both have. Lastly, one could notice that both Ted and Joanna never are together in one elevator - with this we can foresee that they will never get together even in the end. The symbolism of separation with the use of the elevator shows this even though we never find out in the end.
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