On Golden Pond

Reviewed By Thom
Posted 12/11/99 07:20:22

"And the Oscar goes to .... Henry Fonda"
4 stars (Worth A Look)

Real life father and daughter, Jane and Henry Fonda, team up as onscreen father and daughter with screen legend Katherine Hepburn in this moving portrayal of family life during their traditional summer on Golden Pond.

The Thayers spend each summer at their home on Golden Pond. And each year, in a ritual reenactment, the sheets come off, the windows are washed, the yard is trimmed and they settle in for another vacation.

This year has been one of particular conflict and they spend the summer looking at themselves, each other and their lives to settle old conflicts, deal with new ones and find the strength to rekindle the familial bonds and carry on into the future.

Henry Fonda won the oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal Norman Thayer.

It is a lovely, quiet film that deals with the then queasy topic of divorce and fractured families. A time when the words post and modern had never been uttered in rapid succession. This is the world still recovering from the Viet Nam war and the boomers coming into their own as the first generation of kids to have grown up in the suburbs raising their own children in the confusing world of a slumping economy and a bitterly fractured and demoralized society. In fact, this was the dawn of the Reagen Era when people wanted to believe there was a way to restructure to bring hope and prosperity to the many.

Intergenerational miscommunication and social rebellion were pretty heady topics back then and the more radical students of the Countercultural revolution who had joined the mainstream were still ideologically opposed to the world of their forebears but they had no models on which to build the world they felt was more ideal.

This is how the movie struck home with American Audiences in 1981.

You never felt tension run so deep and quiet. In a time when people did not "Talk about things", this movie opened up the possibility of questioning pain and begin healing what was sometimes a lifetime of "keeping it in". Touching film, tremendous acting.

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