I’d have to agree with the last two reviewers that the fundamental flaw to this film is it’s length (and as such, pacing-or lack there of). What could have been an otherwise interesting set of character studies never hits its mark. And as such the fault lies at the feet of the otherwise reliable Mike Nichols.
Everything suffers from the films ponderous drag. Mostly good performances by capable actors turn jumbled. Dialogue sounds forced. It fails to generate any lasting energy or tension. Worst of all it never tells the story in any compelling way. If you didn’t already know the real back story you’d wonder what the film is all about.
Probably only recommended for Meryl Streep completists. She tries.
This movie could have been told in a lot less time. There were far too many unneccesary "filler" scenes and dialogue between the characters. Having a famous cast did nothing to amp up the film either. Basically, what I am trying to say is that the premise/or story, regardless if it was fictitious or not, sounds compelling on paper but the overall execution of it was poorly done.
Silkwood (which was, apparently, based on true events) actually had the potential to be a really riveting story about nuclear-contamination whistle-blower, Karen Silkwood - But, this film's over-long story got so weighted down with frivolous soap opera that any urgency in the matter got repeatedly relegated to the back-burner, over and over again.
Apparently based on "real-life" events that took place back in 1974 - I'd say that Silkwood's joyless, little story about these disastrous events could've easily been told in about 90 minutes, instead of being totally dragged out for 130 minutes.
This potentially promising tale about a nuclear whistle-blower got itself so bogged down with frivolous soap opera that, before long, the intended dead-seriousness of Karen Silkwood's escalating dilemma became annoyingly trivialized to the max.
I mean - In no time flat - Karen's dire predicament was given such a back-seat to all of her chronic chain-smoking and petty personal dramas that I got to the point where I lost complete interest in this film's story and I ceased to care, one way or the other, about what inevitably happened to this woman.
Anyway - With that all said - I can't believe that both Streep and, especially Cher (as Dolly the lesbian loafer) were actually nominated for Oscars for their lack-lustre performances here in Silkwood.
I've seen this movie year's ago. Had to place on hold.
I first saw this movie when it originally came out in 1983. Given that Kerr-McGee settled out of court to pay Karen's estate $1.3 million, it's clear that this company was in the wrong. I wondered in 1983 and now just how dirty that Kerr-McGee was. What would have happened if Karen Silkwood had been actually able to blow the whistle, resulting in a major investigation into Kerr-McGee's actions? I wonder how far its illegal activities and coverups went? It would be interesting to have a remake filmed, including everything that is known now as compared to what was in the original film. BTW, Meryl Streep did an amazing job and should have received an Oscar for her work in this film.
I enjoyed all the characters and pacing of this story. Cher really looks different in this movie!
I like almost everything Meryl Streep is in.
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