Sadly, it wasn’t until The Devil Wears Prada that I saw another one of her movies, where she was again nominated for an Oscar. Don’t get me wrong, she was obviously an amazing actress in both of these movies, she wouldn’t have been nominated if she wasn’t, but I still don’t feel like I really got a sense for her acting abilities until seeing Sophie’s Choice.
I am now an official card carrying member of the Meryl Streep Fan club. (It doesn’t help that I also just watched Julie and Julia) She was so incredible and captured the character of Sophie so well in this movie that I honestly felt like I wasn’t even watching her on screen. Simply amazing.
Streep plays Sophie, a survivor of the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp, who upon moving to the U.S. after the war meets Nathan, played by Kevin Kline, a charismatic and unsteady American Jew obsessed with the Holocaust. They befriend Stingo, played by Peter MacNicol, the movie's narrator, a young American writer new to New York City. Sophie and Nathan are haunted by their own respective demons, Sophie’s being controversy surrounding her family and the loss of her children and Nathan’s his concealed mental illness. Stingo tries to save them both, but is unsuccessful, and their problems eventually lead to their demise.
This movie can be appreciated for many reasons. One being simply the story and screen play. People can relate to seeing the best in and loving someone who is destructive and violent, like Sophie did with both her father and Nathan. They justify it by having those rare moments of love and devotion cancel out everything else negative they have done. Who has ever fallen for their best friends significant other? (Isn’t that in a song? Jessie’s Girl?) Unrequited love? Just like Stingo, people are willing to be “best friends” with a person just to be close to them, and hope that one day, maybe, they will see them differently. The movie is also about choices (obviously). We make choices everyday. Sometimes these choices seem impossible to make, but we have no choice and all we can do is try to live with the consequences. The result of Sophie’s choices haunted her for the rest of her life.
I would recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for something that will pull you in and make you think about your own choices. Just try and get past this guy being one of the main characters in the movie: