Progress

Not much on TV last week, so I caught up on some old movies. I had a hunch that Kramer vs. Kramer wasn't really for me, but I'd never watched it all the way through. And, as they used to say, good reason for why. It was dire. Hyperactive Dustin Hoffman, as insensitive workaholic hotshot, neglecting his wife and kid. Very reasonably, she leaves him. Magically, he turns into a caring single parent, despite losing his job but suffering no financial pressure of any kind. She wins the custody battle, but in the course of it recognises what a wondrous father he's become, so maybe the kid should stay with him. Unrealistic, woolly at the edges, and utterly one-sided - Meryl Streep has very little do, since the reality of her life doesn't interest the writer/director at all. And this junk won Oscars, for the film, for Hoffman and - incredibly - for Streep. Some things have got better.

 

By coincidence, the same week I watched It's Complicated, also starring Streep. and Alec Baldwin. smart, well-acted, much more evenly balanced. I didn't cringe at all.