On Tuesday evening, Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Peter MacNicol hosted a special screening of Sophie’s Choice at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, presented by Lanvin, in celebration of the recent 40th anniversary of Alan J. Pakula’s seminal work.
“We’re a few of the only ones standing that made this film,” Streep said when introducing the movie alongside her co-stars. “There are a few still here: my hair and makeup artist, Jo. Roy Helland, and I believe my wardrobe woman, the great Alba Schipani. But the visionaries for Sophie’s Choice are not: the great writer William Styron, the beautiful soul that was Alan Pakula, and the master of light, Nestor Almendros, cinematographer, not here.”
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MacNicol then shared a surprising anecdote about Almendros. “[He] was legally blind and wore eyeglasses that were as thick as Coke bottles,” the actor recalled. “I used to go up to the Thalia Theater — I don’t know if it’s there anymore, it’s a movie theater that used to show Golden Age classics. I remember once we entered just after the credit call started, and he was stuck, he was just frozen in the aisle because he said, ‘I can’t see a thing.’ I had to show him to his seat. Well, you’ll see tonight that he wasn’t always blind. He had a real eye for beauty.”
Kline, who made his film debut in Sophie’s Choice after first becoming a star on the stage, also took time to pay tribute to the film’s director. “To add to [what MacNicol said], Alan Pakula spoiled me for life. He cast me in my first film, and again—for better or worse—my film career is still flourishing,” he said. “[Filming Sophie’s Choice] was the most joyous, most creative experience of my entire career and I have Alan and Meryl and Peter to thank for that because it was a love fest. We had each other’s backs, each other’s sides, each other’s fronts. We had each other.”
The night had a star-studded guest list, including Cate Blanchett, Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Gina Gershon, Claire Danes, Steven Soderbergh, Holland Taylor, Rupert Friend, Aimee Mullins, Matthew Modine, Sarita Choudhury, and Pat Cleveland.
Streep’s daughter Louisa Jacobson was also present in support of her mother, and Phoebe Cates attended the screening alongside her children Greta Kline (who performs under the moniker Frankie Cosmos) and filmmaker son Owen Kline, who was accompanied by singer and film director Charlotte Ercoli Coe. In addition to celebrating the anniversary, the event marked the official return of Alan Pepe Communications’ screening series, honoring the work of prominent filmmakers.
After the viewing of the film, the guests made their way to Baccarat Hotel’s grand salon, where they were greeted with champagne and an extensive assortment of seafood, including sushi, fresh oysters and shrimp cocktails, as well as a variety of hors d’oeuvres and a Lanvin goodie bag to go.
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