A summer in Brooklyn in 1947, and an infatuated boy (MacNicol) tries to learn the dreadful secret of Sophie's awful Choice. It's Pakula's first film as his own screenwriter, and his scrupulous adherence to the dense details of William Styron's novel seems to have slowed down the deft visual sense so marked in Klute. A more serious problem occurs in long flashback scenes as Sophie describes her ordeal in Auschwitz. The information (for on one level, this is a tantalising Gothic romance) comes thrillingly, in fits and starts, with revelations following on the heels of half-truths. But one watches uneasily as the obscenity of the Holocaust is served up for our entertainment yet again, and another actress with perfect cheekbones and a crew cut loses a few pounds to lend credibility to a death camp scene. By the end, the accumulated weight and lethargy of the production fails to invest Sophie's fate with the significance Styron achieves.