mattias’s review published on Letterboxd:
GOD, I love this movie.
"It takes too much energy to get mad. When I let myself feel, all I feel is lousy."
It's a coming of age story of a troubled boy and his interactions with his parents, both trying in their own ways to help and support their slowly disintegrating son. It's a story about family, about the death of a sibling, the death of a son. It’s about poor mental health and the stigma that is put on boys who see psychiatrists. It’s about suicide, particularly male suicide. It's about a son desperately trying to connect with his mother, and a mother failing to talk with her son. It's about a son crying in the arms of his father after finally proclaiming his love for him. It's about emotionally broken boys trying to "fix" themselves in a world where ”broken boys” is seen as an oxymoron, where boys are expected to act one way, and only one way. It's about boys trying to get their humanity back through the toxic smoke of masculinity. It's about boys learning that it's okay to cry.
It's like The Catcher in the Rye meets everything that I love.
Conrad calling his psychiatrist in the middle of the night in the midst of a panic attack is GOD-TIER cinema. That scene alone gave Ordinary People the Best Picture Oscar over Raging Bull.