Friday, March 26, 2010

Not Mary Richards

"Ordinary People" is one of the best movies ever made in America.

Robert Redford directed this family drama in 1980 and the movie won 4 Oscars, including Best Picture.

Whenever it show up on television, I find myself unable to not watch it.

And no matter how many times I see the movie, the last line and the last moment always reduce me to a sobbing mess.

What is particularly astounding is the performance of Mary Tyler Moore as the mother.

Moore was nominated for Best Actress, but was up against the marvelous work of Sissy Spacek that year in "Coal Miner's Daughter.' Spacek, channeling Loretta Lynn, won.

Spacek was deserving of her award, but it was a shame that these two towering performances had to compete with one another.

Mary Tyler Moore should have been given a shelf full of awards for this work.

What is really scary is that I know this woman.

I mean the utterly enclosed and frozen and self-involved mother that Moore played in the movie.

I had a friend for a great many years that, in time, I could no longer count among my friends or even see for a cup of coffee and she was this character in the flesh.

Jolly, friendly, jokey and completely false in every way.

Ultimately cold and distancing and destructive.

"Ordinary People" is one of the most simple and direct and honest movies I've ever seen.

If you don't know it, head over to your neighbourhood video store before it runs out of business.

You're in for a treat.

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