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#3 Sophie's Choice

Meryl Streep, Sophie's Choice | AGONIZING 'CHOICE' Streep's Sophie makes a life-and-death decision
Image credit: Sophie's Choice: Everett Collection
AGONIZING 'CHOICE' Streep's Sophie makes a life-and-death decision

Why ''Sophie's Choice'' is a top tearjerker

Almost from the instant you meet Sophie (Meryl Streep, who earned, along with an Oscar, her Queen of the Accents crown here, with mastery of three different dialects), you understand that she's a damaged, haunted heroine who's not likely to live happily ever after. But the real poignance lies in Sophie's tremulously maintained illusion of hope. Hers is a brave but fragile front that conceals the depth of her guilt and sorrow as a Holocaust survivor. You don't cry for Sophie because she dies so young, but because she has suffered so long.

KLEENEX MOMENT In flashback, Sophie relives the dark night that a Nazi officer forced her to choose: Which of her two young children would she get to save, and which would be sent to a death camp?

Originally posted Nov 19, 2003
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