Ordinary People is a 1980 film which tells the story of the disintegration of a family following the death of the oldest son. It stars Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, Timothy Hutton, M. Emmet Walsh, Elizabeth McGovern and Dinah Manoff. It was directed by Robert Redford.
The movie was adapted by Nancy Dowd (uncredited) and Alvin Sargent from the novel by Judith Guest. ISBN 0140065172
It won Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Timothy Hutton), Best Director, Best Picture and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium. It was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Judd Hirsch) and Best Actress in a Leading Role (Mary Tyler Moore).
The producers were criticized for only nominating Timothy Hutton for Best Supporting Actor, since his role was the major role in the film.
This movie marked Mary Tyler Moore's career breakout from the stereotype of the light-hearted comedienne. Many felt that she did not win the Academy Award for this role solely because it was so out of character for her.