Wednesday, 18 October 2017

''On Golden Pond'' (1981 film)- Review

 The Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn blogathon is being hosted by In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood. The film that I am reviewing for the blogathon is On Golden Pond, the film for which Katherine Hepburn won her fourth Oscar.

Directed by: Mark Rydall
Released: 1981
Country: United States

Genre: Drama

Rating: 4 out of 5


''On Golden Pond'' is a gentle and deeply moving film, filled with warmth and emotional depth. Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda play Ethel and Norman Thayer.  Ethel is in her sixties while Norman has just turned eighty and for the summer they are visiting their cottage which is situated on a lake called Golden Pond. For them, Golden Pond is a place that brings back a lot of memories. The loons that swim gently on the lake- and their calls- make them nostalgic and ponder about life. Ethel is cheerful and optimistic and although she is well aware of the fact that anything drastic can happen to them- particularly to Norman- any time because of their age, she tries staying cheerful. She helps Norman stay positive and active.  

They are visited by their daughter, Chelsea (played by Jane Fonda), who is accompanied by her boyfriend, Bill, and Bill's teenage son, Billy. Chelsea has never really had a smooth relationship with her father and is filled with bitterness about her childhood. She feels that her father never paid her enough attention when she was a child. As Chelsea and Bill are about to visit Europe, they decide to leave Bill's teenage son, Billy (played by Doug McKenon) with Ethel and Norman. The elderly couple agree, and after Chelsea and Bill leave for Europe, Ethel and Norman eventually develop a strong bond with Billy, something that not only invigorates Norman but also, eventually, goes on to strengthen several relationships.
This is such a beautiful film, completely unpretentious yet powerful and moving. Its simplicity gives it a beauty of its own, the emotional content being perfectly balanced. The title sequence is gorgeous: the way sunlight is reflected from the rippling water of the lake,  is amazing; the warmth and charm reflected in the sequence can be felt throughout the film. Both Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda are excellent in their roles. Jane Fonda, Doug McKenon and Dabney Coleman are great as well. I loved the character development, the performances, the story, the screenplay, the beautiful cinematography, the score- well, I admired everything about this movie!


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