Ordinary People is based on the book by Judith Guest. I had read the book in high school and enjoyed it a lot. When I discovered it was an 80's film, I was interested to see how the novel looked on film. Usually when books are made into movies, they are not as good, but in this case I really enjoyed the film a lot and it did the book justice.
The story focuses on the family life of contradict Jarret. Conrad lives with his mother and father, but things aren't so great at home. Conrad gets along fine with his father, but his mother is like a stranger to him ever since Conrad's older brother died. Conrad was with his brother when it happened and he could have saved his brother from drowning but he failed. His mother, played my Mary Tyler Moore, has never forgiven him for this. The film focuses on how Conrad deals with this guilt and a tragedy can tear a family a part.
The story of Ordinary People is a deep one. Watching Conrad suffer as he does is difficult to watch and you begin to loathe the character of the mother, who is heartless and cold. It shocked me when I learned that Mary Tyler Moore was playing the character of Mrs. Jarret. When I think of Mary Tyler Moore I think of a happy, sweet woman, but she was amazing in the role. She portrayed Mrs.Jarret exactly how I envisioned her when I was reading the book. You really see how the death of her son has effected her character. She becomes a ghost of herself, and Conrad knows this all along. The father denies it. It is really an emotional moment when the father comes to the realization that his wife is no longer the loving kind woman he thought she was.
I really recommend this film! It is truly touching and makes you think about the importance of life and family bonds.