Shirl Acevedo

Shirl Acevedo

Modified & Updated: 29 Jan 2024


Sophie’s Choice is a critically acclaimed movie that has captivated audiences worldwide since its release in 1982. Directed by Alan J. Pakula and based on the novel by William Styron, this powerful film tells the heart-wrenching story of Sophie Zawistowski, a Polish immigrant haunted by her past during World War II. The movie stars Meryl Streep in an award-winning performance as Sophie, alongside Kevin Kline and Peter MacNicol. Sophie’s Choice is renowned for its emotional depth, thought-provoking themes, and stellar performances, earning it numerous accolades, including an Academy Award for Meryl Streep. In this article, we will delve into 43 fascinating facts about Sophie’s Choice, shedding light on the production, the performances, and its lasting impact on cinema. So, join us as we embark on a journey to discover the hidden gems behind this iconic film.

Table of Contents

Sophie’s Choice was released in 1982

Sophie’s Choice, directed by Alan J. Pakula, hit the big screen in 1982, captivating audiences with its gripping storyline and powerful performances.

Meryl Streep delivered an Oscar-winning performance

Meryl Streep, known for her remarkable talent, took on the role of Sophie Zawistowski and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her outstanding performance.

The movie is based on William Styron’s novel

Sophie’s Choice was adapted from the renowned novel written by William Styron, exploring themes of love, guilt, and the devastating impact of the Holocaust.

Kevin Kline played the role of Nathan Landau

Kevin Kline portrayed the complex character of Nathan Landau, Sophie’s charismatic yet troubled lover.

The film tackles heavy and emotional subject matter

Sophie’s Choice delves into the horrors of the Holocaust, leaving audiences deeply moved and reflecting on the devastating consequences of war.

The movie was critically acclaimed

Sophie’s Choice received widespread critical acclaim for its exceptional storytelling, superb acting, and emotional impact, earning numerous accolades and nominations.

It explores the theme of survivor’s guilt

The film explores the psychological struggles of Sophie as she wrestles with survivor’s guilt, haunted by the choices she was forced to make during her time in Auschwitz.

The soundtrack is memorable

The hauntingly beautiful soundtrack of Sophie’s Choice adds depth and enhances the emotional impact of the film, perfectly complementing the story.

Peter MacNicol played the role of Stingo

Peter MacNicol delivered a memorable performance as Stingo, the aspiring writer whose life becomes intertwined with Sophie and Nathan’s tragic story.

Sophie’s Choice was nominated for five Academy Awards

The film received five nominations at the 55th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The movie provides a poignant portrayal of the aftermath of the Holocaust

Sophie’s Choice captures the enduring scars and profound impact that the Holocaust had on its survivors, shining a light on the resilience of the human spirit.

Meryl Streep extensively researched her role

In preparation for her role as Sophie, Meryl Streep dedicated herself to extensive research, studying Holocaust survivors and diving deep into the emotional complexities of the character.

The film depicts a heart-wrenching choice

The central theme of Sophie’s Choice revolves around the impossible decision Sophie had to make at Auschwitz, a gut-wrenching scene that lingers in the minds of viewers.

The movie impacted audiences worldwide

Sophie’s Choice sparked meaningful discussions about the Holocaust, morality, and the human capacity for resilience, leaving a lasting impact on viewers.

The screenplay was written by Alan J. Pakula

The screenplay for Sophie’s Choice was skillfully written by director Alan J. Pakula, capturing the depth and complexity of Styron’s novel and its characters.

The film showcases stunning cinematography

The visually striking cinematography of Sophie’s Choice transports viewers to different time periods, immersing them in the characters’ world with its artistic brilliance.

The story is told through Stingo’s perspective

The narrative unfolds through the eyes of Stingo, allowing the audience to experience the events and emotions alongside the aspiring writer.

Sophie’s Choice explores the limits of human endurance

The film pushes the boundaries of what individuals can endure in the face of unimaginable horrors, providing a stark portrayal of human resilience.

The movie features a stellar supporting cast

Alongside Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and Peter MacNicol, the film boasts a talented ensemble cast that brings depth and authenticity to the characters.

Sophie’s Choice tackles themes of love and sacrifice

The film explores the complexities of love and the sacrifices individuals are willing to make for those they care about, even in the most challenging circumstances.

The movie includes powerful monologues

Sophie’s Choice is renowned for its emotionally charged monologues, showcasing the exceptional acting abilities of the cast.

The film encourages reflection on moral dilemmas

Sophie’s Choice raises thought-provoking questions about morality, the consequences of our choices, and the weight of guilt.

The movie seamlessly blends past and present

The film skillfully interweaves past and present, blending flashbacks and current events to create a compelling narrative that keeps viewers engaged.

Sophie’s Choice explores the complexities of relationships

The film delves into the intricate dynamics between Sophie, Nathan, and Stingo, highlighting the complexities and challenges that can arise in relationships.

The movie features authentic period costumes and set design

The attention to detail in Sophie’s Choice is evident in the authentic period costumes and set design, transporting viewers back to a specific time in history.

Sophie’s Choice addresses the psychological trauma of war

The film delves into the deep psychological trauma inflicted by war, shedding light on the long-lasting effects it can have on individuals.

The film offers a powerful critique of Nazi atrocities

Sophie’s Choice serves as an important reminder of the horrifying atrocities committed by the Nazis during the Holocaust, emphasizing the need for remembrance and understanding.

The movie explores the boundaries of forgiveness

Sophie’s Choice raises profound questions about forgiveness and whether true forgiveness is possible in the face of unimaginable pain and suffering.

The film portrays the complexities of identity

Sophie’s Choice tackles the idea of identity and how it can be shaped and influenced by personal experiences and external factors.

The movie showcases the power of language

Language plays a significant role in Sophie’s Choice, illustrating how words can define and shape our understanding of the world around us.

Sophie’s Choice offers a unique perspective on love

The film challenges conventional notions of love and explores the different ways in which love can manifest, often in the most unexpected circumstances.

The movie’s success solidified Meryl Streep’s status as a Hollywood icon

Meryl Streep’s outstanding performance in Sophie’s Choice cemented her reputation as one of the greatest actresses in the history of cinema.

The film emphasizes the importance of empathy

Sophie’s Choice encourages viewers to empathize with the characters, fostering a deeper understanding of the complexities of their choices and actions.

The movie evokes a wide range of emotions

Sophie’s Choice takes audiences on an emotional rollercoaster, eliciting feelings of sadness, empathy, and reflection throughout the duration of the film.

Sophie’s Choice received a BAFTA Award for Best Film

In addition to its Academy Awards success, the film was also honored with the BAFTA Award for Best Film, further solidifying its place in cinematic history.

The movie’s title has become synonymous with difficult choices

The phrase “Sophie’s Choice” has entered popular culture and is often used to describe an impossible decision between two equally challenging options.

The film’s screenplay remains true to the spirit of the novel

Despite the challenges of adapting such a complex and deeply emotional novel, the screenplay of Sophie’s Choice remains faithful to the essence of William Styron’s masterpiece.

Sophie’s Choice had a profound impact on viewers

The emotional depth and powerful performances of Sophie’s Choice left a lasting impression on audiences, prompting discussions about the nature of humanity and the consequences of our actions.

The movie’s cinematography captures the essence of the story

The visual aesthetics of Sophie’s Choice greatly contribute to the overall impact of the film, enhancing the storytelling and evoking a sense of profound sadness and beauty.

Sophie’s Choice is considered a cinematic masterpiece

Many critics and film enthusiasts regard Sophie’s Choice as a true masterpiece of cinema, with its timeless themes and exceptional execution.

The movie’s powerful performances linger in the memory

The performances in Sophie’s Choice, particularly Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Sophie, leave an indelible mark, showcasing the immense talent of the actors involved.

Sophie’s Choice remains relevant today

Despite being set in a specific time period, the themes explored in Sophie’s Choice continue to resonate in contemporary society, shining a light on the enduring impact of historical events.

The film inspires empathy and compassion

Sophie’s Choice serves as a reminder of the importance of empathy and compassion, urging viewers to reflect on their own choices and actions in the face of adversity.


Overall, Sophie’s Choice is a cinematic masterpiece that leaves a lasting impact on viewers. Its compelling storyline, phenomenal performances, and thought-provoking themes make it a must-watch for any movie enthusiast. The film’s exploration of the human condition, the weight of guilt and trauma, and the complexities of choice is both heart-wrenching and profound.

Sophie’s Choice showcases the incredible talents of Meryl Streep, who delivers an unforgettable performance that earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress. The film’s expert direction by Alan J. Pakula and powerful screenplay by William Styron create a striking and immersive experience.

Whether you’re a fan of drama, historical films, or simply appreciate exceptional storytelling, Sophie’s Choice is a remarkable piece of cinematic artistry that deserves a place on your must-watch list.


1. What is the plot of Sophie’s Choice?

Sophie’s Choice follows the story of Sophie Zawistowski, a Polish immigrant living in Brooklyn, New York. The film explores her haunting past in Nazi-occupied Poland and the horrifying choice she was forced to make that continues to haunt her in the present.

2. Who stars in Sophie’s Choice?

Sophie’s Choice features an outstanding cast, including Meryl Streep as Sophie, Kevin Kline as Nathan, and Peter MacNicol as Stingo. Meryl Streep’s brilliant portrayal of Sophie earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress.

3. Is Sophie’s Choice based on a true story?

No, Sophie’s Choice is not based on a true story. It is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by William Styron.

4. What are some of the themes explored in Sophie’s Choice?

Sophie’s Choice delves into complex themes such as guilt, trauma, love, identity, and the consequences of choice. The film raises profound questions about the human condition and the lasting effects of unimaginable experiences.

5. Why is Sophie’s Choice considered a classic film?

Sophie’s Choice is considered a classic film due to its exceptional performances, gripping storyline, and its ability to resonate with audiences on an emotional level. It tackles difficult subject matter with sensitivity, making it a timeless piece of cinema.