Cinema Review of “On Golden Pond” (1981)

On Golden Pond
Genre: Drama
Film Production Studio:
 ITC Entertainment
Run Time: 109 Minutes
Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda…


Norman is a curmudgeon with an estranged relationship with his daughter Chelsea. At Golden Pond, he and his wife nevertheless agree to care for Billy, the son of Chelsea’s new boyfriend, and a most unexpected relationship blooms.

Cinema Review by Audrey:

A grumpy old man, one loving wife and a teenage boy all under one roof. On Golden Pond is a simple movie based around a handful of people as they take the yearly vacation to their summer home. With the arrival of their daughter, an open wound finally has a chance to close.

On Golden Pond is a slow progression of events. An introduction of the characters and their personalities is the prime focus of the beginning as it lays out the problems this family has faced in the past. These problems are what the film follows, making for a beautiful story. The actors fill their roles perfectly, letting themselves be drowned in their work. This makes Norman, the grumpy old man, to actually hold the qualities that Henry Fonda was portraying. For me, the actors’ use of emotions and skill are what defined the movie, and what make it one that I would recommend anyone to watch.

Billy is a young teenage boy who has never experienced the wonders of outdoor living. Being left with Normal and Ethel, Billy quickly is immersed in a world that includes fishing and back-dives. Norman and Billy just as quickly connect as Norman shows Billy a different kind of relationship than what he has encountered before. The bond these two have progresses the show and enlightens Norman as to what he was missing out on with his own child, Chelsea.

While watching, the attitude and bluntness that Norman held is comical. Not only does it make you like him even more, but it brings life to the movie and reminds me of people in my own life. That being said, I can’t deny the fact that I gravitate more towards Norman than any of the other characters.

On such a small budget, this movie was able to create a story that all took place in one house on a pond. Not only was this film technique used to give the movie justification for its namesake, but it made the shots interesting and beautiful to look at, even if this is an older film.

Audrey’s Rating: 5/6
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