Best Picture Winners Part 52 (of 90): Kramer vs Kramer

Title: Kramer vs Kramer
Year: 1980
Starring: Dustin HoffmanMeryl StreepJane Alexander
Director: Robert Benton
Runtime: 1 hr 45 mins
Is It Any Good?: Kramer vs Kramer is a film about a Manhattan advertising man, Ted (Hoffman) whose life changes all in one day. On the very same day, he gets an important account and gets a promotion his wife Joanna (Streep) leaves him and their son Billy (Justin Henry). Now Ted must try and manage to be a single parent and his new responsibilities in the workplace. A task that is both herculean and titanic simultaneously. When Joanna steps back into the picture this will once again tear the family apart.

Memorable Quote: Ted Kramer: So the other morning, I’m at the refrigerator… you know, getting Billy ready for school. So I’m just in my underwear and he notices I’ve lost weight. And he comes in and pats me. He comes up to here [touches his stomach] and he says “Daddy, you’ve really lost a lot of weight”, he looks up at me and he says “And it’s all gone to your nose.” [laughs] He was so cute. You know?

How’s the Competition: Mixed at best. All That Jazz is a film focused on a choreographer/director who is a workaholic. He’s at the point now where he’s taking pills to sleep and sleeping with a cache of women in order to deal. Written and directed by Bob Fosse, in this semi-autobiographical look into his life. This earned star Roy Scheider a Best Actor nomination. In Apocalypse Now Capt. Willard (Martin Sheen) is stuck in the humid jungles of Vietnam. He begins a vision quest of sorts to eliminate Col. Kurtz (Marlon Brando). Francis Ford Coppola directs what I think is it isn’t just the best film in this bunch but one of the greatest of all-time. A culture clash between some recent high school graduates is at the center of Breaking Away. When confronted by some snootier student from the nearby university they get involved in some things they didn’t want to or expect to. Instead of just doing what college boys do including chase girls, or in Dave’s (Dennis Christopher) case winning the universities annual endurance race. Lastly, we have Sally Field who plays textile mill worker Norma Rae in her Oscar-winning turn. Tired of the long hours and mistreatment they decide with the help of labor activist Reuben (Ron Liebman). This move in particular angers everyone around Norma including her employers and fiance Sonny (Beau Bridges). With this performance the academy told Field they liked her, they really liked her.

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