Continuing on with fathers and sons today, as Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep headlined this popular family drama and both deservedly won Oscars for it. A very topical movie at the time it came out, which probably accounts for the Best Picture Oscar it won as well (especially considering it was up against Apocalypse Now), but it's still a heart-tugging tearjerker, thanks to the master class in acting from the two stars. Hoffman is the absentee dad who's forced to develop a bond with his young son when his wife runs out on the family. You then get to see the father-son bonding take place and just when you're starting to love the two of them together, Streep shows up again and decides she wants the kid after all. It's a testament to Meryl Streep's amazing performance that even after spending most of the film offscreen, she still feels like a three-dimensional character and practically forces the audience to have some measure of sympathy for her in the end. The movie could easily feel like a made for TV special, but the two leads elevate the material in a way that feels natural and completely genuine. It still holds up well.
Original 1979 Trailer: