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'Sophie's Choice' is depressing, but impressive

Sophie's Choice


No actress has had to select evening gowns for the Academy Awards more than Meryl Streep. This year, she earned her 18th nomination for "August: Osage County." She has won three times. One of these times was for "Sophie's Choice," which came out in 1982.

"Sophie's Choice" is set a few years after the end of World War II. In it, Streep plays Sophie, a holocaust survivor living in Brooklyn. She has a mentally unbalanced boyfriend, Nathan (played by Kevin Kline), a Jewish American. They live with Stingo (played by Peter MacNicol), an earnest young writer from the South. Sophie is haunted by memories of surviving the holocaust.

Meryl Streep gives a stunning performance as the emotionally bruised and battered Sophie. She nails the character's accent, and we never see her as an actress, always as Sophie. We see how the evils of war have sabotaged any chance she has at happiness. Kevin Kline is also superb as Nathan, who loves her, but suffers from severe mental illnesses. Peter MacNicol is also strong as Stingo, who slowly falls for Sophie.

"Sophie's Choice" is, at times, hard to watch. The most notable example comes near the end when Sophie is forced to make her "choice."

Although it is very sad, "Sophie's Choice" is still worth watching for its strong performances. It is a fascinating character study.