Ordinary People ★★★★½

Really liked this movie a lot more than I thought I would based on the (admittedly very little) I knew about it going in. The portrayal of people's reaction to depression/suicide feels thankfully somewhat dated, but not so much that you can't imagine this scenario playing out today. Mary Tyler Moore is terrific in a blood-boiling performance as the socialite, out-of-touch mother; but Donald Sutherland is also great as the barely-holding-it-all-together husband/father. I can appreciate the criticism that MTM's character is too easily drawn as the villain, but I'm willing to give the film the benefit of the doubt based on the era. I also really liked the surprising inversion of gender stereotypes with regards to dealing with mental health. And of course Hutton as Conrad is a force all his own - he can swerve into melodrama at times, but especially early in the film his eyes convey an anxiety that the film absolutely needs to be successful. A couple of non-acting thoughts: the cuts to memories/dreams are a little choppy from a technical perspective, but extremely effective narratively, highlighting Redford's overall skill at conveying emotions and inner life without dialogue. The use of Pachelbel's Canon feels a little too familiar but definitely works as a fitting musical reflection of neat suburban/North Shore that juxtaposes the emotional turbulence of the plot.

Watched solo via Pluto TV (supported by way too many ads)