■ **r 'em W w » Kraftier vs, KraftiCf is a stunning film, fhete is no doubt it is one the best fftdvies of }0ft. It deserves tf©* mefrddtis praise and. will no doubt be cited fof many awards in the coiningmonths.ttt aft era of movie spectacles thatoffer bold effects, the film is an anachronism.What Kramer vs. Kramer offers is an insight inter sensitivity and human emotions.The picture will make you laugh and cry—the rarest and greatest achievement of the cinema. *Ted aftd Joanna Kramer are an upper middie-class couple living in.Manhattan, Ted is an energetic and aggressive advertising executive, Joanna is a housewife and a mother. Somehow, that mix doesn’t suit her nature.The first shot of the movie beautifully captures the tension.of their relationship.■Exploring Joanna’s face, the camera traces her frustrations and dissecting her doubts. There is an intense, analytical quality as the camera silently describes the truth. For Joanna, it is the end of her marriage.As apparent as that fact is to Joanna, it is equally as remote to. Ted. He arrives in their apartment with good news about his career. He has made himself oblivious to Joanna’s anguish. He cannot believe that she intends to leave him.Ted Kramer finds himself alone, playing both father and mother to nine-year-old son Billy. It’s a role unfamiliar to him but one he learns to accept and even thrive on.The movie, in a fashion, is a personal success story. Not only is Ted Kramer forced by circumstance to examine his own life, he also comes face to face for the first time with his son.One of the movie’s greatest strengthsMoviesHR Leonard Kladyonsympathyis its ability to delineate Ted Kramer’s change.of character. There is perhaps-fto more difficult task oft the screen than taking aft audience through someone’s emotional development. Too ofteft this process is unconvincing because it’s pictured in simple rather than logical terms. Kramer vs. Kramer strives and succeeds ih capturing those growing pains.If this were the movie’s sole attribute, then it would most certainly stand out as a remarkable accomplishment. However, this is but one of manyachievements.Wrlter-dtrector Robert Benton hascreated a multi-layered emotional experience from Avery Corman’s novel.It is a story about communicating with people. Ted changes because he begins to relate to those around him.The most obvious person to convince is his son. Not only does it become necessary for Ted to talk to Billy in a . language he can understand but also to demonstrate affection in the quality of the experiences they share, ft is most certainly not an easy conquest.The film tackles the most apparent problems of single parenthood. Yet, it never fails into a comfortable niche. Beneath the central story are factors which affect the core of Ted’s redefined priorities.At first, he feels pressure from his advertising agency which suggests his bosses resent the ammount of time he spends at home. Later, there is the shock of Joanna’s return to fight for custody Of Billy.Normally, a convoluted plot like Kfafiier vs. Kramer would be considered unwieldy and awkward. It is to everyone’s credit that the story is W engrossing and the performances are so riveting that these factors are never apparent.kDustin Hoffman has never given a better performance. It is a role stripped down to the raw nerve endings, an incredible feat of winning audience sympathy.The task is even more amazing considering most of Hoffman’s scenes are played with Justin Henry, a pint-sized, unspoiled dynamo. Young Henry’s naturalness would make a W.C. Fields gag on his orange juice or, perhaps, even give, up acting.As Joanna Kramer, Meryl Streep has the difficult task of developing a role set like book-ends in the film.There is no doubt that initially our sympathies rest with her character but, as Ted transforms, our loyalties shift away from her. The fact that Joanna retains a flesh-and-blood reality, even in the nasty custody suit, is a testament to Streep’s prowess as a performer.Kramer vs. Kramer is made with taste, quality and intelligence. It’s a rewarding entertainment and an emotionally draining experience that people will be talking about for a long time.Kramer vs. KramerDirected by Robert Benton; screenplay by Benton, based on the novel by Avery Corman; cinematography by Nestor Almendros; edited by Jerry Greenberg; production design by Paul Sylbert; music by Henry Purcell, adapted by John Kander; produced by Stanley Jaffe. A Columbia Pictures release. At the Garrick Two. Mature.Ted Kramer ..........................Jodfinfl Kramer .....Margaret Phelps.........................BIIIy fCr3ingrJohn Shaunessv ........................Jim O'Connor....................................George CoePhyllis Bernard..........................Jobeth WilliamsGressen............................................... Bilf MoorJudge Atkins....................Howland Chamberlain.COLUMBIA PICTURESDustin Hoffman .. Meryl Streep Jane Alexander .. Justin Henry Howard DuffDustin Hoffman discovers the joy of fatherhood in Kramer vs. Kramer.