Beth, Calvin, and their son Conrad -- an upper-middle class family in the north Chicago suburbs -- are living in the numb aftermath of the death of another son and brother in a boating accident. The mother is cool, distant, and unemotional while the father is overly cheerful and tries to pretend everything's fine. Conrad is burdened by guilt and grief, and in therapy (the story opens when he is just returning from being institutionalized), because he senses his mother always preferred his deceased brother. Sutherland is refreshingly positive as Calvin, Hutton made his feature debut after several years in TV and won an Oscar for best performance by an actor in a supporting role as Conrad. Moore is excellent in an unsympathetic role, and McGovern portrayed sweet preppie perfection in only her second film. This was Robert Redford's directorial debut, and he won an Oscar for it as well; the movie, based on Judith Guest's bestselling novel, also won Best Picture for 1980.
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The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus