Cinema: Grownups, A Child, Divorce, And Tears

Kramer vs. Kramer is 1979's heartbreak hit

Kramer vs. Kramer is a rare movie that finds its tone, its focus and its poetry in its very first image. The image: a close-up of an anguished woman, her face surrounded by darkness. The shot is so intimate that the audience at first yearns for some relief. But the relief never really comes. Kramer vs. Kramer is composed almost entirely of actors' faces, of intense passions and of winter light.

Since the actors are Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep, and since the suffering is real, the audience...

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