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Film Details

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Sophie’s Choice

“The truth does not make it easier to understand, you know."

When a choice is referred to as a “Sophie’s Choice” most people understand that the choice must be an impossibly difficult one between two unbearable options. But if it wasn’t for Meryl Streep’s performance in the 1982 film directed by Alan J. Pakula (and to a lesser extent William Styron’s novel upon which it was based), that phrase wouldn’t resonate the way it does. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we conclude our Meryl Streep series with the film for which she received her fourth Oscar nomination and first win as Best Actress, “Sophie’s Choice.” We talk about Meryl, our undying admiration for her and what she brings to the screen; plus we chat about her two primary costars — Kevin Kline and Peter MacNichol — and what they bring to the table. We discuss our problems with the film which seem to stem from the adaptation and the focus on Stingo as the main character of the film. We chat about Nestor Almendros and his cinematography work, comparing his naturalistic approach with other films he’s done and how it works here. We touch on the haunting and arresting score by Marvin Hamlisch. And we discuss the horrors of the concentration camps, noting several fascinating scenes that work well to portray the dichotomy between the world of the Jewish prisoners and that of the Nazi guards. It’s a decent film buoyed by two knock-it-out-of-the-park performances that ultimately break your heat, and as hard as it is to watch, it’s great to discuss. So watch the film (but be prepared with tissues) then tune in!

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