Sophie's Choice (Special Edition) [DVD]
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Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline star in this drama adaptation of the novel by William Styron. Upon moving to a Brooklyn boarding house in 1947, author Stingo (Peter MacNicol) meets Nathan Landau (Kline) and Sophie Zawistowska (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.
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 --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.See all Product description
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Stingo (Peter MacNicol): An aspiring young author from the South, who has made his way to Brooklyn to pursue his writing career.
Sophie (Meryl Streep): A Polish war refugee, who has survived Auschwitz, and who's past is one of horrors we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.
Nathan Landau: Sophie's mercurial and volatile lover, who is obsessed (if that is the right word) with hunting for escaped Nazis, and whose moods swing between joy of life and extreme generosity one moment and vicious, black rages the next.
The first half of the movie revolves around the close friendship between Stingo, Nathan and Sophie, as well as the passionate relationship between Nathan and Sophie. The second part takes us to Sophie's nightmarish experiences during the Second World War, and ultimately the heartbreaking scene where a Nazi officer forces her to decide which of her two children will survive and which will be taken off to die in a crematorium.
It is a movie both about the pathos and anxiety of each individual, and of the agony and evil of a world gone mad i.e. Europe during the holocaust, at a time when we are faced with mass terrorism , sympathy for terrorism and a resurgence of anti-semitism and totalitarian ideas.
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