They Don't Make Them Like This Anymore... [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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10-27-2007, 10:11 PM
Recently watched SOPHIE'S CHOICE (1982), which is a film I have always loved and have seen numerous times, including on 35mm prints a few of those times. It's available on DVD as well, but is in desperate need of a new transfer.

So why is this film so great?

3 simple reasons:

1. Meryl Streep in one of her most amazing performances hands down.
2. Nestor Almendros' masterful cinematography demonstrates why he was the best in the biz.
3. Alan J. Pakula's incredibly well-thought out direction, superb dramatic moments, and really getting every ounce of acting prowess from the three leads..Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and Peter MacNicol.

This film truly has it all and is one of the finest examples of a film that works on so many levels, has some insanely deep dramatic moments, brilliant acting, and is just a fine piece of cinema all around.

The story is daring and that's not all, it's rich with characters and puts all the pieces together so masterfully and skillfully that it pulls off a lot in a 2 1/2 hour time frame. The film is tragic beyond belief and has some unforgettable moments throughout. Part of the film deals with the Holocaust and Sophie was a Polish woman caught up in the war and ends up at Auschwitz, where she endures horrifying events. Unlike films like SCHINDLER'S LIST this film doesn't centralize on those events, but really takes place after that and the way that Sophie must deal with life after tragedy. She is involved with Nathan (Kevin Kline), but they share a friendship with Stingo (Peter MacNicol) in one of his finest screen roles. What I love about this film is it's honesty and it's cleverness in showing human emotion, even when it's raw and awkward or imperfect, just like life. The characters make stupid decisions, they make little sense sometimes, and still somehow their frailness is appealing and reassuring at times.

The film is also about the things that should and shouldn't be, the things in life that just can't be no matter how much we yearn for them to be, we must live with things as they are. We all of course have choices to make and sometimes the choices of others impact our lives as well. It's also about characters who just can't seem to deal with their pain, both inward and outward they suffer and unlike most films, the end result is not predictable or sappy.

These days we don't get films with this magnitude of heartfelt emotion and on-screen depth. The screenplays seem to be dry of all human emotion and are just reincarnations of the same old boring, trite, predictable stuff that they have been passing around for years. One can only hope while watching this film that it will inspire people to again make movies that are real, honest, engaging, deep, and worth your time.,%20Kevin%20-002

jim goulding
10-28-2007, 12:42 AM
I had seen movies about the holocaust before. And while this wasn't about the holocaust, as you pointed out, it gave me the chills about what the Streep character had to endure. That c***s***** young Nazi enthusiast killed her soul. For what? No more than his amusement. My daughter was one year old at the time. This was profoundly disturbing to me.

10-28-2007, 08:39 AM
Great review PS. I saw this movie many, many years ago. Probably when I was too young to really appreciate it. You've inspired me to see it again. I've added it to my rental list. Thanks.

10-28-2007, 10:15 PM
Great review PS. I saw this movie many, many years ago. Probably when I was too young to really appreciate it. You've inspired me to see it again. I've added it to my rental list. Thanks.

Well, if I can get at least one person to rent it than I have at least accomplished that much. I know that for some people the title alone is kinda flick or something, but this is hardly a sentimental movie or romantic love story, in fact it's a tragic love story that has tons of heartbreaking, honest, and tough moments that might bring some men to tears...who knows. Maybe that's why some guys shy away from it.