From Atticus Finch to Cliff Huxtable to Mr. Incredible
Calvin Jarrett, 'Ordinary People'
Played by: Donald Sutherland
What makes him the best dad: "Ordinary People" is a fascinating family drama, and not just because of son Conrad's traumas and coping mechanisms. The Jarrett clan is shaken after elder son Buck is killed in a sailing accident, and we soon discover that the new union between dad Calvin, mom Beth (Mary Tyler Moore), and Conrad (Timothy Hutton) will require plenty of introspection and honesty in order for their lives to progress. Calvin Jarrett seems a bit reserved at first, but soon when he realizes his wife is becoming more aloof and unfeeling as their remaining son unravels, he sweeps in to announce her behavior (including ignoring Conrad and jamming french toast down the garbage disposal) is driving their family apart. The movie's concluding moment, where Conrad and Calvin finally embrace, is the most moving final moment of any Best Picture winner.
- Louis Virtel