Sophie's Choice - description
Sophie's Choice is a 1982 American drama romance film that tells the story of a Polish immigrant, Sophie, and her tempestuous lover who share a boarding house with a young writer in Brooklyn.
The film stars Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and Peter MacNicol. Alan J. Pakula directed the movie and wrote the script from a novel by William Styron, also called Sophie's Choice.
This is widely regarded as one of Meryl Streep's finest performances, and it won her the Academy Award for Best Actress. The film was nominated for Best Cinematography (Néstor Almendros), Costume Design (Albert Wolsky), Best Music (Marvin Hamlisch), and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Alan J. Pakula).
In 1947, the movie's narrator, Stingo (Peter MacNicol), relocates to Brooklyn in order to write a novel and is befriended by Sophie Zawistowski (Meryl Streep), a Polish immigrant, and her lover, Nathan Landau (Kevin Kline).
One evening, Stingo learns from Sophie that she was married but her husband and her father were killed in a German work camp and that she was interned in the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp.
Nathan is constantly jealous, and when he is in one of his violent mood swings he convinces himself that Sophie is unfaithful to him and abuses and harasses her. There is a flashback showing Nathan rescuing Sophie from near death from starvation shortly after her immigration to the U.S.
Sophie eventually reveals that her father was a Nazi sympathizer. Sophie had a lover, Józef (Neddim Prohic), who lived with his half-sister, Wanda (Katharina Thalbach), a leader in the Resistance. Wanda tried to convince Sophie to translate some stolen Gestapo documents, but fearing she may endanger her children, she declined. Two weeks later Józef was murdered by the Gestapo, and Sophie was arrested and sent to Auschwitz with her children. Upon arrival, Jan (Adrian Kaltika), Sophie's son, was sent to the children's camp, and her daughter, Eva (Jennifer Lawn), was sent to her death in Crematorium Two.
Nathan tells Sophie and Stingo that the research that he is doing at the pharmaceutical company is so groundbreaking that he will win the Nobel Prize.
At a meeting with Nathan's physician brother, Stingo learns that Nathan is mentally ill (paranoid schizophrenic) and that all of the "research facilities" that Nathan has worked at have been "expensive funny farms." (He has a job in the library of a pharmaceutical firm, which his brother got for him, and occasionally helps researchers with their research, but otherwise, is not one at all.)
After Nathan discharges a firearm over the telephone in a violent rage, Sophie and Stingo flee to a hotel, where Sophie describes the incident giving rise to the film's title. While being unloaded in Auschwitz, Sophie was asked to choose which of her children would live and which would die. When she was unable to choose, a Nazi officer said both would be sent to die, so she chose Jan to survive.
Sophie and Stingo make love, but while Stingo is sleeping, Sophie, tormented by her memory, returns to Nathan, where both Sophie and Nathan commit suicide by taking cyanide.
Stingo moves away from Brooklyn and into a small farm his father recently inherited in southern Virginia to finish writing his novel.