Films and Showtimes

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Past Films

Science on Screen: Ordinary People (1980)

  • Starring: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore
  • Director: Robert Redford
  • Genre(s): Drama
  • Rating: R
  • Running Time: 124 min.

Science on Screen Film Series

All screenings are free and made possible thanks to a generous grant fro the Alfred P. Sloan Foundaition and Coolide Corner Theatre Foundation.

Synopsis: In Robert Redford’s directorial debut, the accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the austere mother (Mary Tyler Moore), the compassionate, well-meaning father (Donald Sutherland), and the guilt-ridden younger son (Timothy Hutton).

Dr. Tim Daughtery (MSU, Psychology) will be discussing how we define meaning from traumatic life events and the impact of the mother-child relationship on adolescent development.

"An intelligent, perceptive, and deeply moving film."
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A moving, intelligent and funny film about disasters that are commonplace to everyone except the people who experience them. Not since Robert Benton's "Kramer vs. Kramer" has there been a movie that so effectively catches the look, sound and temper of a particular kind of American existence. "
- Vincent Canby, The New York Times
"This is thoughtful and beautifully observed work, from the social backdrop and the tell-me-what-you're-feeling analysis sessions to the painful performances including Mary Tyler Moore playing against type as the chillingly repressed mother."
- Empire
"The story of a boy's re-entry into family and school life after a mental breakdown, it is of strikingly high quality. Redford apparently has a fine eye, and the ability to draw the very best from veteran actors Mary Tyler Moore and Donald Sutherland, as well as from a youngster, Timothy Hutton. The entire cast, to the smallest parts, are excellent. "
- Judith Martin, Washington Post