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Silkwood
DVD disk
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Based on a true story, three roommates star as employees at a nuclear facility working with radioactive material. Of course, something has to go wrong and the main character, Karen Silkwood (Streep), gets exposed to radiation and thus the story unfolds. To this day, we still do not know exactly what happened to Ms. Silkwood, but this powerful and sobering portrayal of her true story proves once and for all that Meryl Streep is one of the top dramatic actresses of our generation.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This 1983 film is based on the true story of the woman who disappeared under mysterious circumstances while trying to uncover the truth in 70's Oklahoma City. The real-life Karen Silkwood died in 1974 in her late twenties. If you’re looking for a light, entertaining DVD...stay away from this one. It deals with a sober topic and contains other serious matters like the Cher/Streep relationship as Cher’s character Dolly is a lesbian and in love with Karen Silkwood. This relationship is never fully explored, but is nevertheless interesting to see. A few other familiar faces pop up such as Craig T. Nelson, Ron Silver and M. Emmet Walsh, all giving great performances, but none compare to the showing by Meryl Streep who gives us an honest portrayal of a woman stricken with the prospect of dying of cancer, but also her courageous determination to expose any wrong-doing at her plant no matter how many friends she loses or endangers her own safety.

Streep was nominated as Best Actress at the Oscars that year, while Cher also nabbed a nomination for Best Supporting Actress and Mike Nichols for Best Director. None of them won the Oscar (although Cher did get a Golden Globe for her role), but they were deservedly nominated. Director Mike Nichols also deserves some credit here, for it is clear to see that he is indeed an actor’s director. The only thing that got on my nerves was the super melodramatic ending with the sappy singing in the background, but by that time, the film was over so it was all good. Note: This film is now twenty years old and it is funny to see Karen Silkwood’s hair in the film...a mullet, God bless her. Kurt Russell was also quite easy on the eyes in his younger days.
THE EXTRAS
Not much other than the film's original theatrical trailer.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I enjoyed watching SILKWOOD and found it to be quite an eye-opening experience. The movie is difficult to watch at times, and not necessarily an "entertaining" or "light" picture, but it is educational and features enough great acting and gripping story, to recommend wholeheartedly. If you love well-told, challenging and emotionally complex tales, then this is a must-rent for you. And if you love Meryl Streep, then you must own this DVD for it features one of the strongest performances from her career. Enjoy this classic drama!
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