Is it really the best performance ever given by an actress? Don't get me wrong, Meryl is terrific and deserved the Oscar hands down, but I can think of a few actresses who could have done the role justice:
Marthe Keller (who was the original choice)
Lynn Redgrave (also considered for it pre-Meryl)
Goldie Hawn (who auditioned, and I think would have been a revelation. She's a great dramatic actress)
Hanna Schygulla (great actress who is barely known in the US)
OP, you need a life
Liza was going to play one of the other women on the train to Aushwitz. Pakula saw the character as a plucky "I may be down but I'm not out kind of girl" who inspires Sophie to fight on. We filmed a Fosse-like number but Liza was drinking a lot back then and kept slipping in and out of the Polish. They tried to get Lesly Ann Warren to fly in and do the number but but in the end Alan just decided to cut it.
Mitzi Gaynor would nailed the part.
I thought Hanna Schygulla was the original choice. She would have slayed.
I agree Hanna would have a tour de force.
Sophie was described as being very beautiful. So the idea of Lynn Redgrave, Liza Minnelli, Goldie Hawn, and Jane Alexander in the role is ludicrous. Meryl Streep nailed the part technically, but she didn't really look the part of a stunning beauty. The only actress I can think of who would have been right physically for the role is Charlize Theron.
Joan Collins was a beauty, but a mediocre actress.
Jane Fonda would not have been a good Sophie; just not the right type.
I've never heard of Hanna Whoever.
I've said it before and I'll say it again:
It should've been Charlene Tilton.
Streep is beautiful in Sophie's Choice.
Charlene Tilton [italic]is[/italic] Sophie.
The more I look at this video, the more I see Sophie, (it was even filmed in Germany):
Too bad Dustin Hoffman didn't play Sophie. He was in drag that same year in [italic]Tootsie[/italic]. And he was more a woman than Meryl. (Sorry. I meant [italic]M[/italic].)
Lucy was to play Sophie, but Gary talked her out of it.
You left out Jennifer Lawrence. That girl can do anything.
It would be better with Shelley Hack, Rose!
Dorothy with a Z
Hanna and Marthe were never considered.
The choices were either Meryl or some Polish actress. Pakula pondered for a long time whether it would be better to have an american actress who learned Polish/German or vice versa. He ultimately decided that it was best to have a native english speaking actress since most of the film was in english and it is often hard to act in a foreign language (get all the inflections etc. and not speak in a monotone)
Meryl of course surprised him by not only learning Polish and German but also learning how to act in the other languages.
Goldie Hawn actually tried to by the film rights.
"Do these concentration camp outfits come in any other colors?"
Rula Lenska should have gotten that part.
Can you imagine Joan Collins in Sophie's fucking Choice? OMG, I'm still laughing.
I'll destroy you, Adolph and then my children and I will control Germany!
I know several Polish-Americans who thought that Meryl Streep's accent was laughable. In their collective opinion, she gave what Hollywood thought was a Polish accent, not what Poles or those of Polish descent would have thought was a Polish accent.
As one first-generation Polish-American told me, "She (Streep) should stick with Australian (accent)."
R23, I'm Polish (but don't speak it fluently) but my father (who does speak it fluently) said her Polish accent was excellent, so there you go.
hmmmm r23 everyone is a critic. Besides I didn't even do my Austrailian accent until 6 years later. how would they know I should stick to Australian. Reminds me of an old joke:
How many Polish people does it take to be a film critic? Well never mind. I don't want to sound racist.
I hear she's doing Romeo and Juliet with Heath Ledger. I miss him so much.
Audrey and Judy Landers screen tested at the same time!
Meryl was good in Sophie's Choice but her performance is overrated beyond belief as are her acting abilities.
[quote]Meryl was good in Sophie's Choice but her performance is overrated beyond belief as are her acting abilities.
Agreed, she was awful. Ann Miller would've been much better than Streep. I can see it now - Ann tapping to distract the Nazis and then hiding Jan and Eva in her hair.
Jane Fondue would have been delicious in the role.
Like so many of her roles like even Julia Childs and Maggie (of non Brit actors, but none would touch it) only she could really do it. Perhaps some polyglot Euro actress, but only her of the name actresses.
It's not my favourite by her though and I dislike the film. Flawless as she is, too many accents and languages for my liking. I don't mind when Christoph Waltz does this but it feels weird coming from a native English speaker (not that you'd know in the film), sort of distracting.
Meryl's best was A Cry in the Dark, gotta love those accents. I don't think we'll see much more of them though in that way, Maggie really took it out of her and it's amazing she's doing work like that and Julia in her 60s.
[quote]Flawless as she is, too many accents and languages for my liking.
Could you perhaps elaborate on this, R31? Would you rather she never did accents? Like say Hepburn.
Genevieve Bujold would have put Meryl to shame.
If it were filmed today, Cillian Murphy's female beauty would have been too distracting in the role.
Not at all R32, like I said my favourite is an accent one. But this one is full on multilingual, dialects and accent. Maybe I just don't like the Sophie accent as much, if I liked the film better I would probably get into it more.
The whole thing about Streep is she can do the accents and things no one else can, but for me in Sophie she's doing too much. It's an incredible showcase and a feat that will never be duplicated and maybe the best of all time in that sense, but not for me as sacrilegious as that is.
Not bothered much about Hepburn(s) but I don't think not doing accents makes one worse, though I'm always impressed by it.
I also can't compare any from the golden age to today's actors, the more melodramatic style from then is like night and day. Meryl was spot on there, the acting now is better and keeps getting better, Robert Duvall said the same thing. Some actors and performances from then still stand up of course, Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life for instance.
Pardon me, R31/R35, I misinterpreted your comment. I thought you meant Streep did too many accents in her overall career.
Too bad they didn't wait until Gabourey Sidibe was old enough to play Sophie. She would have wiped the floor with Meryl.
Meryl was so bad in that movie, one of the worst performances in cinema history. If only DataLounge favorite, Ms. Joan Crawford had lived a few more years; people would be saying, "Meryl Who?":
[italic]You can take both of those ungrateful children. That'll teach them not to finish their steaks[/italic]!
I don't understand why Kathy Lee Gifford didn't get the role. Her performance would have been to die for.
Jessica Lange could have done "Sophie's Choice" with no troubles. She would have thrown herself into it heart, body, and soul the way she does everything else. Jessica Lange is a very feral actress.
Vanessa Redgrave is one of my most favorite actresses and so I have a bias toward her. I think she would have done the role justice but the t.v. movie she did about the Holocaust back in the early 1980's was more her vehicle. She was scary good in it and since it was a t.v. movie her character had a slow growing trajectory which suited her talent.
At any rate Saint Meryl of Streep kicked ass in "Sophie's Choice" and the fact that people still speak of the film today says a heck of a lot.
If only Joan had done it, I could have played her sister, Perogie.
Tahnee Welch would have brought some interesting shadings to the role.
So would Mariska Hargitay.
Meryl does agony.
Joan Van Ark probably would've been better than Streep.
[quote]I've never heard of Hanna Whoever.
I suppose you never heard of Fassbinder, either. Why on earth would you comment on an acting thread when you have so little knowledge of cinema?
Hanna Schygulla isn't a big star, R46. It's perfectly reasonable that someone might never have heard of her.
A big star would be someone like Dolly Parton, who in fact should've played Sophie.
Btw if Schygulla was a bit younger she would've been perfect in The Reader as well instead of Kate Winslet. But I agree that filmmakers of these movies were looking for big names.
Streep is sublime in the role- silly to call any performance the best ever- it certainly is a highlight in her distinguished career.
[quote][R23], I'm Polish (but don't speak it fluently) but my father (who does speak it fluently) said her Polish accent was excellent, so there you go.
Same here, although I do speak pretty good Polish. Her accent was impeccable.
Goldie Hawn and Joan Collins?? Oh, please...
Was this thread started to release the Krakken - I mean Streep troll? I came here thinking that there would be several of their posts dismissing others' opinions because they weren't Streep and there's nothing. Is the Streep troll gone?
r28 = Helen Mirren.
[quote]Was this thread started to release the Krakken - I mean Streep troll? I came here thinking that there would be several of their posts dismissing others' opinions because they weren't Streep and there's nothing. Is the Streep troll gone?
Even the Streep Troll can't argue with this one, Streep was dreadful in this role. Goldie Hawn [italic]IS[/italic] Sophie.
I can't believe no one's typed this yet: Kate Nelligan!
It's a terribly dated film. Unwatchable. And those artificially lingering shots of Streep are very self-conscious. Pakula did her no favors.
[quote]You can take both of those ungrateful children. That'll teach them not to finish their steaks!
the sassy, delicious, ann jillian as sophie!
Ann has no tits.
We watched it recently on Netflix. It is a flawed movie but I was moved by Meryl's performance and the story. Kline was never sexier but the role is terribly written. Meryl is terrific and I remember many of the original reviews compared her to Garbo no less. Nothing she had done previously to Sophie - which was already considerable- prepared you for her performance.
i was born in '79, my whole life my entire family (not the most astute critics of anything) spoke of this performance in a hushed, awed, respectful tone. i put off watching it until college finally, i didn't think the performance could live up to what i aways heard about it. it did. its a legendary performance, the stuff of myth. the same thing with liv ullmann's performance in 'face to face', waited years to see it, when finally i did, even after having heard so much about it, i was still deeply touched and awed by it.
Holocaust films were also pretty rare at this time. There was the mini-series "Holocaust" with Streep and The Pawn Broker but not many others. Just seeing it dramatized like that was quit shocking.
Imagine what could have been made with the subtle haughtiness of a Welchel. The hushed exuberance of a Cohn. The gritty sentimentality of a McKeon or the urban grit of a Fields!
Judy Davis in A PASSAGE TO INDIA was way better than Meryl in SOPHIE'S CHOICE. But everyone loves a stupidly contrived accent.
Rula Lenska IS Sophie!
LOL@ R27. At least now we know who killed Disco---the lesbian sisters.
You are all so pedestrian in your choices. Think out of the box, think...PINK LADY!
[quote]Think out of the box, think...[bold]PINK LADY[/bold]!
Are you suggesting Didi Conn? She would've been perfect!
Really r65? That is considered one of the more controversial performances in film history. Many, many people felt Davis was all wrong in that performance.
I always liked it though.
No R69, I'm suggesting PINK LADY, the Asian sister singing act that once had a show on TV that lasted 4 episodes. They were legendarily bad.
I've never seen "A Passage To India". But perhaps the worst performance I have ever seen, is Judy Davis as Judy Garland in "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows". She was also awful as Nancy Reagan in "The Reagans". Hopefully, I will never see another performance by Judy Davis.
[quote]I've never seen "A Passage To India". But perhaps the worst performance I have ever seen, is Judy Davis as Judy Garland in "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows".
Incidentally, when Streep won her Emmy for ANGELS IN AMERICA in 2004, she singled out Davis' Garland portrayal (for which she'd won the Emmy 3 years earlier) as the best acting ever put on film.
beth howland of 'alice' fame was actively pursued for this
[quote]Incidentally, when Streep won her Emmy for ANGELS IN AMERICA in 2004, she singled out Davis' Garland portrayal (for which she'd won the Emmy 3 years earlier) as the best acting ever put on film.Incidentally, when Streep won her Emmy for ANGELS IN AMERICA in 2004, she singled out Davis' Garland portrayal (for which she'd won the Emmy 3 years earlier) as the best acting ever put on film.
I know. I was shocked that she said that. I wonder if it was just a nice compliment to Davis, as she gave to all the other nominees. Like how when asked if Katharine Hepburn was an influence she politely said yes. Even if she did think it was a good performance, to say it was "the best put on film", sounds like an overstatement. Especially considering her own far superior performances.
I've said before, I think there is a case of "The Emperors New Clothes". I appear to be the only one who thinks Davis is awful. I still don't know what was so great about it. She looked nothing like Garland, sounded nothing like Garland, was far too old, didn't capture her spirit. If I didn't know she was supposed to be playing Garland I would never have guessed. It was like a bad parody, [italic]really[/italic], "PunchyPlayers" do her voice better.
Streep as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady" is perfect. At times you could believe it is Thatcher. Davis as Garland... I keep missing the "great" performance there.
r38, your intelligence is pulp.
How so, Leslie?
Bea Arthur turned it down
Sophie Tucker was the first choice. But unfortunately, she was dead at the time.