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Ordinary People Movie Review Summary

Actors: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Timothy Hutton, Judd Hirsch, M. Emmet Walsh, Elizabeth McGovern

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Ordinary People


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



Script Analysis of Ordinary People

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1960's-1970's Family, struggling with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Mother Inner struggle or disability    -   Yes Battle with shrink/bum?    -   battle with a psychiatrist Coping with loss of loved one?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American Unusual characteristics:    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Any profanity?    -   Some foul language Is this movie based on a    -   book

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