2 August 2003 | LoliRyder
I think many reviews miss the point
One of the things that many movies are missing these days are the small details and things that happen in everyday life - and how we are able to learn about characters through small visual clues rather than the large hammer of exposition-driven dialogue.
For instance, in the scene where the characters are looking at the slides of the trip to Washington: towards the end are two photos with Streep and Ron Silver's character. In the second photo, she leans into him a little bit. That tiny bit of body language makes us wonder - and Kurt Russell's character too. He suddenly moves his arm from around Streep's and suddenly she's aware that something's wrong. It's all in the unspoken. There isn't a preceding scene where she picks up the other guy, or goes to bed with him or even lies to Kurt Russell. It just cuts to this scene, and we the viewer learn along with Kurt that she's been unfaithful - which also reveals a little more about this person Karen Silkwood.
She's not a perfect hero - she's flighty, irresponsible, impulsive and non-committal - so the question becomes, why did she change? Why did she risk her life when she finally truly understood the risks? And how does Kurt Russell come to terms with this changed person he is in love with, given that he is just a guy who knows how to fix a car not save the world?
Watch Mike Nichols' inspired direction; he rarely cuts away in the middle of a scene. A lot of Kurt, Cher and Meryl's acting happens all in one take. *That's* truly good acting and directing.
Good dialogue in a film is in knowing what's happening without it being said. Don't fast forward the first hour - really pay attention and see how much you learn from the small details that will enrich your viewing of this film.