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Ordinary People


Co-presented by the UA’s Care, Health & Society program, School of Sociology, the UA Department of Psychology and The Loft Cinema
Featuring a post-film discussion with Darla M. Still, M.A., UA School of Sociology; David A. Sbarra, Ph.D, Professor of Psychology, UA School of Psychology; and moderator Terrence D. Hill, Ph.D, UA Associate Professor of Sociology and Founding Director of the UA Care, Health & Society Program.
Ordinary People is an intensely moving, Oscar-winning examination of a family being torn apart by tension and tragedy. In first-time director Robert Redford’s adaptation of Judith Guest’s bestselling novel, Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore star as the upper-middle-class couple whose “ordinary” existence is irrevocably shattered by the death of their oldest son in a boating accident. Timothy Hutton is their younger son, Conrad, struggling against suicide and survivor’s guilt because he believes his emotionally-detached mother wishes he’d been the one to die. Making his feature film debut, Hutton offers a powerful portrait of grief and teenage angst, becoming the youngest male Oscar-winner to date, and Moore subverts her sunny TV persona with a brilliant, Oscar-nominated rendering of a bitter, inexplicably aloof mother. Judd Hirsch (also Oscar-nominated) as Conrad’s therapist and newcomer Elizabeth McGovern as Conrad’s understanding girlfriend complete the cast in this extraordinary character study, which also earned Oscars for Best Picture, Best Screenplay (Alvin Sargent) and Best Director (Redford). (Dir. by Robert Redford, 1980, USA, 124 mins., Rated R)

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