The Unenthusiastic Critic is contemplating divorce—not for the first time—as we sit down for her first viewing of a Christmas-tangential classic, Robert Benton's Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), starring Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander, and Justin Henry.

With Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story currently fueling debate, it seemed like a good time to revisit that film's dysfunctional-family ancestor, which was released 40 years ago today. The making of Kramer vs. Kramer was almost as contentious as the relationship on the screen, but the film—as much a cultural marker as a movie—became the unlikely box office champion of 1979, and nearly swept the Oscars.

But will The Unenthusiastic Critic like it? Or is this the year we fight over who gets custody of the podcast in the divorce?


0:00: Prologue: from Kramer vs. Kramer
00:37: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion
08:29: Interlude: Original Trailer
09:53: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion
49:58: Outro and Next Week's Movie
51:40: Outtake

Notes and Links

—Movie Reviewed: Kramer vs. Kramer (dir. Robert Benton, United Artists, 1960).
—Links and Resources: "How Meryl Streep Battled Dustin Hoffman, Retooled Her Role, and Won Her First Oscar," Michael Schulman, Vanity Fair; Review by Roger Ebert, 
—Find additional episodes, leave a comment, or make a donation to support the podcast at
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—Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under CC BY 3.0

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