ON GOLDEN POND (1981 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Stars ìììì

On Golden Pond—neo-realistic—plays off the talents of Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn who team as an elderly couple hoping to reconcile and solidify an under-developed relationship with their only daughter, Jane Fonda. The movie relies on bona fide acting talent throughout the film, but may leave an audience wondering at the ending credits what they were to take from the film. When one buys entertainment, usually one expects a bit of an escape from the mundane into the extraordinaire; but, this film builds its entire story on the mundane and most ordinary of life events. The film borders on the experimental artistic endeavor more reminiscent of an indie film with release to a limited theater audience who appreciates highly stylized and innovative vision for film story telling rather than the general theater-going crowd. The movie was a smashing box office success and won many significant film awards.However, some audiences may feel 'let down' by the almost despairingly realistic portrayal of family life during this particular decade in America—almost a testimony to family life splintered and gone somehow badly wrong. Some sexual dialog.

Storyline

Retired Norman Thayer (Henry Fonda) arrives at the family’s Golden Pond summer home with his wife Ethel Thayer (Katherine Hepburn). Norman Thayer, through a series of film scenes, shows declining mental abilities while Ethel Thayer valiantly maintains a positive attitude. Later, their only daughter Chelsea (Jane Fonda) arrives for her father’s 80th birthday with a new fiancé and the fiancé’s thirteen-year-old son, Billy (Doug McKeon).

Additional Thanks

Great Work for Director Mark Rydell. Thank you to Producer Bruce Gilbert for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Bill Ray (Dabney Coleman), Charlie Martin (William Lanteau), and Sumner Todd (Christopher Rydell).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. This is not much of a story despite its awards. It’s just a little clip, a snapshot, of continuation of life without a nuance of freshness or relief from life’s boredoms nor from its heartaches.

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Ben Meyers

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