Sophie’s Choice is a harrowing drama set against truly haunting images. The performances from Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Peter MacNicol are all fantastic.
Genre(s): Drama, Romance
Shout Factory | R – 157 min. – $29.93 | April 29, 2014
Adapted from Willaim Styron’s best-selling novel, this passionate tale of a writer’s love for a holocaust survivor is an exhilarating and compelling revelation.
Meryl Streep plays Sophie Zawistowska in this drama set in post-World War II Brooklyn. Kevin Kline plays her all-consuming lover, Nathan. The story revolves around Sophie’s struggle as a Polish-Catholic immigrant in the United States who had survived a Nazi concentration camp. The lovers’ drama unfolds through the observations of a friend and would-be writer, Stingo (PETER MACNICOL). As the trio grows closer, Stingo uncovers the hidden truths that they each harbor.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5
The Blu-ray is pretty light on features but does have a Roundtable Discussion (45:41; HD) is hosted by Alan J. Pakula friend Boaty Boatright, this features many people including stars Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline, William Styron’s widow Rose Styron, Alan Pakula’s widow Hannah Pakula, and former Pakula assistant Don Laventhal. It’s a quiet but very informative roundtable as each give their insights into the movie.
Audio Commentary with Director Alan J. Pakula who provides some behind-the-scenes bits of info on the making of the movie.
Also included is the Theatrical Trailer (2:50; SD).
VIDEO – 3.0/5
Sophie’s Choice comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p high-definition transfer (AVC codec) and presented in its original 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio. Considering the age, now going on 30+ years, this is a movie that never quite looked right no matter the format and although this HD transfer does address some of the issues, I did notice that the picture can be a bit splotchy and colors aren’t consistent with some scenes looking accurate while others seem a tad off (even a yellow tint). Detail levels are alright but thankfully not over-sharpened.
AUDIO – 3.75/5
The movie comes with a DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono mix which is adequate for a movie that is mostly dialogue driven but even the score, by Oscar nominee Marvin Hamlisch, comes through fairly well.
OVERALL – 4.0/5
Overall, Sophie’s Choice is a harrowing drama set against truly haunting images. The performances from Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Peter MacNicol are all fantastic. The Blu-ray released by Shout Factory is hardly perfect with merely acceptable audio and video transfers but the roundtable discussion featurette is well worth watching.