Dustin Hoffman plays Ben Braddock, an aimless college graduate who stumbles into an affair with the older Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) before falling in love with a girl his own age… Mrs. Robinson’s daughter. The Graduate was groundbreaking for its provocative subject matter and sophisticated approach to comedy. Mike Nichols’ elegant, inventive direction earned him an Oscar, while Hoffman and Bancroft were nominated for their outstanding performances. The movie works best when they share the screen. Unfortunately, it gets less interesting once Ben meets the daughter, Elaine (Katharine Ross). Their relationship is fast, peculiar, and too convenient for the sake of plotting. But if you go with it, the movie delivers a very dramatic wedding scene and a pleasantly ambiguous ending. The songs by Simon and Garfunkle are forever intertwined with The Graduate, but I could have done with less repetition of ‘Scarborough Fair’.
Academy Award: Best Director
Nominations: Best Picture, Actor (Hoffman), Actress (Bancroft), Supporting Actress (Ross), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography