As many of you well know, one of my favorite pastimes is to expose people to the genius that is Meryl. The most effective method I've found to accomplish this is to have friends over for dinner followed by a screening of Meryl's magnum opus, Sophie's Choice. And so it was last night, after a day of gift wrapping for me and board gaming for Joe, that our friends Katie and JR joined us by the fire for an evening of Meryl. Both reportedly knew what "the choice" was, so that shock value was eliminated from the onset, but I don't think either had really ever seen a performance of Meryl's from before 2005. Our friend Christina happened to stop by for about an hour of the movie. She did not know "the choice" nor did she stay long enough to find out, so I guess I know who my next victim will be.
Katie and JR made a few comments that I tend to hear a lot from people during their first Sophie experience: "Wow she really does sound Polish." "She was really pretty." And the two of them were made a bit uncomfortable by the "third wheel" presence of Stingo in the film. As usual, I'd occasionally take a glance at viewers to see how they were reacting, and there were definitely a lot of fixed gazes on the screen. Some very quiet moments also demonstrated how captivating Meryl can be. Despite an inopportune DVD malfunction during "the choice" scene, it was a good experience. Katie and JR both said they enjoyed the film, particularly Meryl's performance.
On top of the fact that it's such a great individual acting performance from Meryl, I enjoy when people get exposed to stories that depict some of the atrocities that took place during World War II. Joe remarked how insane it was that it took place within the last one hundred years. When Nathan mentions in the movie the figure "six million Jews" being wiped out, for the first time in my mind I realized that that's 125% the current population of Minnesota. Sort of puts it into an even sadder perspective.
In what I'm calling an early Christmas present, our friend Annie is coming over tomorrow night for dinner, games and The Bridges of Madison County. This will be Annie's third installment of Meryl evangelization, following Sophie's Choice and Doubt. Two Meryl nights in one week! Yes, that is what (however lame it may be) gets me excited on a Friday night. Owning it.