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No. 92: Kramer vs. Kramer

Divorced from reality

by
Jody Rosen
December 05, 2011

1979, dir. Robert Benton. Divorce, 1970s style. Dustin Hoffman is a self-centered ad man whose wife (Meryl Streep) walks out, leaving him to raise the young son he’s never paid much mind to. It’s an actor’s showcase par excellence (Hoffman and Streep both won Oscars) and a period gem—a cinematic display case of ’70s urban haute-bourgeois mores and manners. It’s also awfully Jewish: Watch as Hoffman’s Ted Kramer evolves from callow careerist to warm-and-fuzzy Jewish papa, in 105 short minutes.

Jody Rosen is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine.

Jody Rosen is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine.

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