SOPHIE'S CHOICE 1982

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A tragic tale of a writer's love for a holocaust survivor. Adapted from William Styron's best-selling novel, it tells the story of two star-crossed lovers and the unforgettable choice Sophie (Meryl Streep) had to make in the concentration camp.

Starring:
Adrian Kalitka, Alexander Sirotin
Runtime:
2 hours 24 minutes

SOPHIE'S CHOICE

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Alan J Pakula
Starring Adrian Kalitka, Alexander Sirotin
Supporting actors Armand Dahan, Cortez Nance, David Wohl
Studio ITV
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Colin Mcwilliams on 28 Nov 2000
Format: VHS Tape
A story set after the second world war in New York, about the relationship between 3 people. Peter McNicol (better known for his role in 'Alley McBeal') is a young wided eyed aspiring writer who falls in with a couple (Streep and Kline) whose outwardly exuberent lives hide something darker, and for Streep a Polish immigrant, we are as the film unfolds wondering what ghosts she is struggling to free herself from. This unfolds beautifully as we observe the peice through the eyes of McNicol as he comes of age. Through his freindship with Steep, whose spell he falls under, he eventually comes to learn about the demons that haunt Kline and heatbreakingly those of Streep. McNicol is good but Kline and Streep turn in performances of real depth and intensity which I would challange anyone not to be moved by. This is Streep at the height of her powers.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Bob Salter TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Feb 2010
Format: DVD
William Styron's epic novel "Sophie's Choice," is a magnificent tour de force from one of America's great writers. Through Styron's own very public battle with depression, which he courageously wrote about in his book "Darkness Visible", he had a deeper understanding of the dark places that the human mind can travel too. It was a book that he was well qualified to write, and was one that only a handful of authors could have attempted. It is also a book that I would have considered almost impossible to film. Who could possibly convey the emotions going on inside Sophie's tortured mind? Who could possibly inhabit the paranoid schizophrenic mind of Nathan? It is a big ask, and very brave of that talented director Alan J Pakula to attempt it. I tend to remember Pakula from the excellent western , "Comes a Horseman", although you may remember him more for films like "Klute," and "All the Presidents Men." As is often the case, when having read the book, I would not have rated Pakula's chances of making a good film very highly. But I very glad to say that I would have been completely wrong. This is a very good film indeed!

The holocaust has been broached by film makers in many different ways. Spielberg famously took us directly to the heart of the atrocities in the concentration camps with "Schindler's List". The epic nine hour documentary "Shoah" interviewed many of the people involved directly in the catastrophe. That fine film "The Truce", based on Auchwitz survivor Primo Levi's powerful book of the same title, dealt with the immediate aftermath. Levi was a man who lived with depression himself, and would have understood Styron's book. Sadly he committed suicide.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Phil on 25 Mar 2010
Format: DVD
I first watched this film shortly after it was released. At the time Meryl Streep was a fairly highly regarded new actress, famous mostly for the 'Deer hunter'. It is difficult at around 25 years remove to appreciate the sensation her performance created at the time. I think that this difficulty in part arises from the fact that Streep has become such a house-hold name now,a 'Star', rightly praised for the rigour which she brought to so many subsequent roles ( A friend once jokingly asserted that Streep went out and deliberately contracted syphillis to be more convincing as Karen Blixen in 'Out of Africa').In the light of this there are now identifiable idiosyncracies and Streep 'mannerisms', which can invade the viewers mind when this film is re-visited, or to younger people familiar with Streep films who are seeing this one for the first time. Had she dropped out of sight following this film I'm sure that this would be regarded as one of the most profoundly moving cinematic performances of all time.
Much has been made of her mastering two completely unrelated languages for the role, whilst this is an amazing feat, I think this is also something of a distraction. I'm sure that there are many first rate linguists who can't act for toffee.If the film had been mono-lingual I still think she would have carried it off.
Kevin Klein, another intelligent and talented actor is perfectly cast as the febrile, flawed schizophrenic Nathan, his Errol Flynn profile, making him "fatally glamorous". And the young and callow 'Stingo' is also ably played.

One criticism made at the time was that it boiled the Holocaust down to the experiences of one woman. Another was that Sophie, a woman spiritually destroyed by Fascism, is a Pole.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By schumann_bg on 30 Sep 2012
Format: DVD
Sophie's Choice is a very sad film but one that should be seen by as many people as possible. It approaches the Holocaust obliquely and from the angle of a novel, with all the characterisation and intricacies of plot that that implies - the opposite of a documentary such as Night And Fog, which presents you with the facts in a direct manner. In a sense, the 30 minute film is what is most necessary on the subject, but it may be that for some viewers (myself included) a more personal, fictionalised approach allows an easier access to it by mixing it with other, less painful elements. Here the triangular story set in Brooklyn after the War takes up quite a lot of screen time and engages the emotions and sympathies, while gradually revealing character. The essence of the story is revealed in flashback - and is very well judged so that it shows you the awfulness and the individual tragedy, while not showing so many dreadful scenes that you start to wish you hadn't watched the film. Many of the Brooklyn sequences are very well shot - by legendary cameraman Nestor Almendros - bringing out the expressive qualities of all three characters and framing them very well. This edition is the one to get as it is in the proper ratio (16:9) and not 4:3 as some editions are, going back to VHS, presumably. It makes such a difference to see the images as the director intended, especially with such a distinguished cameraman at the helm, otherwise it seems to be too much in close-up. Meryl Streep gives a classic performance and conveys so many emotional nuances; by the end you feel she has taken us through an extraordinary range (focusing more, but not exclusively, on feelings of suffering) and always judged the intensity of each sequence very well in relation to the whole.Read more ›
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