Ordinary People, Screening + Special Introduction with Rev. Zahl, St Matthews Episcopal Church

Director: Robert Redford Run Time: 124 min. Format: Digital Rating: R Release Year: 1980

Starring: Donald Sutherland, Judd Hirsch, M. Emmet Walsh, Mary Tyler Moore, Timothy Hutton

Join us for a special screening event as part of our ongoing series on Mental Wellness Let’s Talk. Reverend John A. Zahl (St. Matthews Episcopal Church, Bedford) will welcome guests and speak to the audience after the film.

An extraordinary motion picture, Ordinary People is an intense examination of a family being torn apart by tension and tragedy. Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore star as the upper-middle-class couple whose ordinary existence is irrevocably shattered by the death of their oldest son in a boating accident. Timothy Hutton is the younger son, struggling against suicide and guilt left by the drowning. Judd Hirsch is the empathetic psychiatrist who provides his lifeline to survival. Mary Tyler Moore gives a riveting portrayal of the inexplicably aloof mother. Robert Redford’s achievement as director, after more than twenty years as a superstar in front of the camera, earned him an Oscar. Superb performances and masterful direction complement the award-winning screenplay, based upon the novel by Judith Guest.

“Ordinary People won four Oscars in 1980, including Best Picture, Best Director, & Best Screenplay.  Famous for exploring the deep themes of grief, mental illness, and the important role of good therapy, it offers an unflinching look at the reality of suffering, from which almost none of us are exempt.  Ordinary People was ahead of its time, and, yet, still speaks with fresh insight.  Ultimately, the takeaway is positive and deep.  Our conversation afterword will focus on the relationship between the teenage son and his therapist.”  – Rev. John A. Zahl


The Let’s Talk mental wellness series is committed to ending the isolation associated with mental health and substance use disorders.