Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sophie's Choice 1982

2 hours+, Meryl Streep (best actress)

This is a highly prolonged soap opera about a love triangle involving a non-Jewish holocaust victim, an endearing paranoid schizophrenic, and a twenty two year old aspiring novelist. The title of the film has entered the lexicon because of the agonizing choice given to Streep wherein she must doom one of her two children to the gas chamber. The holocaust is used as a background material to juice up, without appreciable success,  a film which has little to stand on. Talk about commercializing tragedies--it only means that we are beginning to forget. The plot is highly convoluted, as it usually is in films and novels of this grade, probably to give the audience something to chew on the way back home. Being an accomplished artist, Streep pulls off the unnatural feat of  speaking English with a real thick Polish accent and Polish and German like a native. Talented as she is, she comes close enough, making it ludicrous by a kind of reversed Uncanny Valley effect. It seems that it was these linguistic gymnastics which got her the award, since the role itself has little logic, neither does she succeed in uplifting it.
Review (Tim Brayton)

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