Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Poetry in Motion (Pictures) Part 3

Sophie’s Choice (Alan J Pakula, 1982) – Ample Make This Bed, Emily Dickinson. Meryl Streep, Peter MacNicol and Kevin Kline star in this book-to-film adaptation. It is a movie of suffering, atonement and redemption and the narrative is sensitively framed by the poem: Ample Make This Bed by Emily Dickinson. Streep reportedly begged for this part and her Oscar-winning performance is very obviously personally poignant (she was a relatively new mother when this film was shot and found the filming of the “choice” scene so emotionally draining she refused to do a re-take). Emily Dickinson’s words complement her hauntingly honest stint as Polish immigrant Sophie:

Ample make this bed.
Make this bed with awe;
In it wait till judgment break
Excellent and fair.

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