Part of our Film 100
The American Film Institute Essentials
The year is 1947. Aspiring southern author Stingo (Peter MacNichol) heads to New York to seek his fortune. Moving into a dingy Brooklyn boarding house, Stingo strikes up a friendship with research chemist Nathan Landau (Kevin Kline) and Nathan's girlfriend, Polish refugee Sophie Zawistowska (Oscar-winner Meryl Streep).
There is something unsettling about the relationship; Nathan is subject to violent mood swings, while Sophie seems to be harboring a horrible secret. Stingo soon learns that both Nathan and Sophie are strangers to truth; the audience is likewise led down several garden paths by a series of sepia-toned flashbacks, depicting Sophie's ordeal in a wartime concentration camp.
The scene in which we discover the facts behind Sophie's "choice" is a gut-wrenching one.
Based on the William Styron best-selling novel of the same name, the film was nominated for five Academy® Awards, winning for best actress.
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