Sophie’s Choice (1982)
Stingo (Peter MacNichol) is an aspiring author who is new to New York where is has ventured to seek his fortune. He moves into a boarding house in Brooklyn where he becomes fast friends with two of the other residents. Nathan Landau (Kevin Kline) and his girlfriend Sophie Zawistowska (Meryl Streep) who is a refugee from Poland. The three spend the whole summer together just enjoying life but not everything is rosy. There is something out-of-place about the relationship between Sophie and Nathan. Nathan has violent mood swings and Sophie is keeping a dark and horrible secret. And of course Stingo can’t let well enough alone and has to discover her secret and just generally get into the middle of things.
Sophie’s Choice is #91 on the AFI Top 100 List. It is a powerful and overly dramatic film that would be nothing if not for the performance of Meryl Streep. There are elements about Sophie’s Choice that are overly Hollywood and then there are scenes where it is the exact opposite. It’s just what I term a “very interesting movie,” because there are times you understand it and times you don’t. For me the viewer it is just depressing but in a moving sort of way. And again this movie would be nothing without the performance of Streep who is just stunning with her accent and sad eyes. I can definitely see why it is on the AFI list but I can’t say it would be my first choice of films.
7/10 Stars – This depressingly beautiful film is worth at least one watch for any real true movie fan.
As a movie watcher and someone who knows plenty about the world of the Academy Awards, I know this was Meryl Streep’s bread and butter as far as her acting goes. It was (up until 2011 The Iron Lady) Meryl’s first and only Academy Award for Best Actress (her award for Kramer Vs. Kramer was Best Supporting) and showcases her talents well. There is a reason she has been nominated so much for her acting, this is why! The story is simple yet the emotions it causes is as deep as it can go. Sophie is who she is because of the hardships in her life and how she chooses to deal with them now that she is in America. I was kinda surprised that the “choice” that Sophie has to make isn’t the focal point of the movie. I mean I knew about it before I saw it, but expected it to be more dramatic and a major topic, but it is revealed at the end as the icing on the cake of how screwed up her life has been and the reason for her major depression. Don’t get me wrong, it sure is sad, but it wasn’t as sad as it could have been. At the end of the day, Sophie’s Choice is as my wife described it, a depressingly beautiful and tragic film that has Oscar written all over it. If you are a movie fan, watch it for the history and classic nature, but don’t hold it to be entertaining, because it’s mainly depressing.
7/10 Stars – This movie is all cinematic art, quality and acting, the story is wonderful, if you like depressing themes.
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