Faithfully adapted from Willian Styron's best-selling novel, Alan J. Pakula's handsome production charts the course of an eccentric and intense love triangle in 1947 Brooklyn, New York. Meryl Streep won an Academy Award for her carefully nuanced performance and perfect accent as Sophie, a Polish survivor of WWII concentration camps who harbors a devastating secret. The film is told through the eyes of aspiring Southern author Stingo (Emmy-nominated Peter MacNichol of TV's ALLY MCBEAL) who moves to New York and strikes a friendship with Sophie and her boyfriend Nathan--played by Kevin Kline in his debut screen role.
1982 - Academy Awards - Best Actress Winner
Meryl Streep - American Actress
Mary Louise Streep - American Actress
Alan J. Pakula - American Director/Producer
William Styron - Novelist/"Sophies Choice"
Rita Karin - American Supporting Actress
Marvin Hamlisch - Legendary film composer
Peter MacNicol - American actor
Kevin Kline - Actor, SOPHIE'S CHOICE
The film follows Stingo, an aspiring young writer who moves to New York just post-WWII to a Brooklyn boarding house where he becomes friends with Nathan Landau (Kevin Kline), a Jewish research chemist and Nathan's girlfriend, Polish refugee Sophie Zawistowska (Meryl Streep). Nathan and Sophie's relationship is clouded by Nathan's violent behavior, his uncontrollable jealousy, and Sophie's unexpressed but troubling memories of her war experience. Her stories about her life during the war begin to unravel, exposing her as a liar and adding a tone of mystery to the strained relationship between Nathan, Stingo, and herself. The film culminates in a flashback reflecting the horrors of the war and the true cause of Sophie's insufferable pain. Director Alan J. Pakula's film, a departure from his conspiracy and suspense dramas, was an adaptation of William Styron's best-selling novel and the story itself was based on his experiences as a southerner living in Brooklyn in 1947.
Theatrical release: December 10, 1982. Part of the film was shot in Zagreb's Jadran Film Studios in Croatia. It was nominated for an Oscar for Best Cinematography for Nestor Almendros's work. William Styron's best-selling novel was based on his experiences as a southerner living in Brooklyn in 1947. His screenplay for SOPHIE'S CHOICE was nominated for a Writers Guild Screen Award for Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium. SOPHIE'S CHOICE was actor Kevin Kline's film debut. Peter MacNichol, Emmy-award nominated actor for TV's ALLY MCBEAL, plays the role of Stingo. Other international characters American actress Meryl Streep has successfully played and for which she's been nominated for Oscars : Dutch (OUT OF AFRICA) and Australian (A CRY IN THE DARK). She has also played an Irish woman in DANCING AT LUGHNASA.
"...Handsome....[The] camerawork is luminous..." - 12/08/1982 Variety
"...Streep accomplishes the near-impossible, presenting Sophie in believably human terms without losing the scale of [Styron's] invention....By turns exhilarating and heartbreaking..." - 12/10/1982 New York Times, p.C12
"Streep's turn...is a tour-de-force. It's a performance only she could have given -- luminous and phenomenally moving." - 03/01/2004 Total Film, p.7