Sunday, 30 January 2011

Best Actor 1979: Dustin Hoffman in Kramer VS. Kramer

Dustin Hoffman won his first Oscar from his fourth nomination for portraying Ted Kramer in Kramer VS. Kramer.

Dustin Hoffman portrays Ted Kramer a successful workaholic advertising executive who is very much surprised by his wife divorcing him, and leaving him to take care of their son by himself. The first scene is well played by both Hoffman and Meryl Streep. Hoffman's reaction is honest in his at first disbelief of the situation, than his realization, and than quick attempt at reconciliation. Both actors are well attuned to each other showing the couples history in just this one scene, showing their relationship, and clearly giving a vivid idea of it before we came in on it.

After this strong opening scene the film portrays Ted attempting to deal with his job, and raising his son at the same time.  Hoffman gives and interesting and realistic performance as we follow him through his new life as a single father. Hoffman is very good because he does not show this as easy at all for Kramer, and also he shows that he is not at all a perfect father. The relationship between Kramer and his son (Justin Henry) is made genuine by both actors. Both actors show a natural real relationship between father and son, that is not at all perfect. Their relationship changes and grows and both actors show their gradual change incredibly well. From their first moments together where they fight with one another, these scenes are incredibly well handled by Hoffman and Henry because they handle the realistically fight, but afterward are both authentic in their apologies. Their relationship is challenged though when Kramer's ex-wife returns and wants custody of their son herself. Hoffman is good in showing Kramer's passionate want to keep his son, and his anger at his ex-wife. Hoffman gives a strong portrayal in the courtroom sequences. Also very good is his final talk with Justin Henry which really shows how far their relationship and has come, and how strong the actors are in their roles. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very good performance indeed and a great review! I still hope you pick Sellers!