Kramer vs. Kramer is a 1979 film that won five Acadamy Awards, (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Supporting), adapted by Robert Benton from the book of the same name by Avery Corman. The film is set in New York, obviously the old New York, which wins it extra points solely based on that fact. The story centers on a child caught in the middle of a somewhat classic ’70ies divorce, with one parent in search of themselves and needing to split. In this case, it’s the mother. Created at a time of great cultural shift, the movie was lauded in its day for objectively mirroring issues of the moment, such as the rising women’s liberation movement and changing attitudes towards the father’s role in family life. As we are deeply entrenched in another cultural awaking presently, it is fascinating to see this already played out moment in time illustrated in such delicate detail.

If you are still not convinced that this is a must-view, think on this; Queen Meryl Streep plays the mother, Dustin Hoffman the father (method acting within an inch of his life in high-waisted jean flares), an extremely cute yet refreshingly independent-seeming small child, fabulous decor decisions, did I mention deep seventies NYC? It is also worth it just for the Father and Son time clocked in this film. How many films out there contain extended footage of a guy just chilling with his little bro? Guess what – basically none. There are some tough moments too; it’s hard to see Meryl cry, the little guy takes a nasty spill at one point, you contemplate if you could ever actually wear a beige turtleneck under a knitted brown short-sleeved vest thingy and decide no, and an awkward bum pat for the friendly downstairs neighbour (they’re just friends), but that’s really about it.

One last good reason to watch this forgotten gem: you decode some key secrets to Wes Anderson‘s success. And that is all I’m going to say about that. I hope you decide to check it out in your grown-up playtime…