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Oscars Challenge #20: Ordinary People (1980) Movie Review

Before even trying to watch this film, you should know that it handles very delicate matters regarding mental health, suicide, etc. So if you are having trouble with depression or anxiety, skip this film.


The film is about a depressed teenager (Timothy Hutton) trying to overcome guilt and sadness after his older brother's death during a sailing accident. After narrowly surviving a suicide attempt and now recovering, he tries to reconcile his relationship with his mother (Mary Tyler Moore) who becomes increasingly cold and angry, and his father (Donald Sutherland) with the help of his psychiatrist.


Right off the bat, you may think that this is just a normal family drama with a roller-coaster experience but it is not. It doesn't hold back and shows us the different sides of the family members as one by one they deal with their own problems in their own semi-ordinary ways. It is somehow like 12 Years a Slave wherein the message should not be held back and instead just deliver up front.


The way the plot is structured is amazing. The film starts slowly with the character introductions then suddenly you will notice yourself gripping your seats in the second and final acts of the movie.


The fantastic performances of the actors really made this film wonderful. I think the casting choice is superb and really chosen very well.


What's more impressive is that this is Robert Redford's directing debut and won the Best Picture award similar to Sam Mendes 32 years later. Really did an incredible job.


Even though I recommend this film, It's not really for everyone as it deals with very delicate subjects.

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