The sunny streets of Brooklyn, just after World War II. A young would-be writer named Stingo (Peter MacNicol) shares a boarding house with beautiful Polish immigrant Sophie (Meryl Streep) and her tempestuous lover, Nathan (Kevin Kline); their friendship changes his life. This adaptation of the bestselling novel
by William Styron is faithful to the point of being reverential, which is not always the right way to make a film come to life. But director Alan J. Pakula (All the President's Men
) provides a steady, intelligent path into the harrowing story of Sophie, whose flashback memories of the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp form the backbone of the movie. Streep's exceptional performance--flawless Polish accent and all--won her an Oscar, and effectively raised the standard for American actresses of her generation. No less impressive is Kevin Kline, in his movie debut, capturing the mercurial moods of the dangerously attractive Nathan. The two worlds of Sophie's Choice
, nostalgic Brooklyn and monstrous Europe, are beautifully captured by the gifted cinematographer Néstor Almendros, whose work was Oscar-nominated but didn't win. It should have. --Robert Horton, Amazon.com
Upon moving to a Brooklyn boarding house in 1947, author Stingo (Peter MacNicol) meets Nathan Landau (Kevin Kline) and Sophie Zawistowska (Meryl Streep). The trio become firm friends, and spend much time together; but Nathan's explosive temper often results in Stingo spending time alone with Sophie, and it is in these moments that she slowly reveals her past to him, describing what she experienced at the hands of the Nazis in occupied Poland.