Cons: took 'em a year to close the damn place down
I found this movie, the actors, and the story line very powerful as well as very sad. Based on the true story of Karen Silkwood, who died in an automobile accident in 1974, the story delves into the life and background of Silkwood (Meryl Strepp) and her friends and relationships.
Silkwood was employed at the Kerr-McGee plant in Oklahoma, and was responsible for exposing their shoddy safety habits and poor working conditions. These traits did not leave her in the best stead with her employers. Badgered daily on the job, she continues her fight for justice in the work place, eventually leading her to Washington and the workers union.
Karen amasses a lot of evidence against the company which she gathers up for a meeting with a reporter from the New York Times. She never makes it to the meeting and the packet of information is never recovered.
Not always a good girl in real life or this film, she nevertheless is strict in her determination to expose Kerr-McGee. A hard drinking, tough talking lady - she is repeatedly attacked for her attention to her goals. Although no one is ever accused of her murder, implied ideas lead not only to the closing of the plant a year after her death but also a huge lawsuit filed by her family, which they won.
Also starring in the movie are Kurt Russell as Karens' sometimes live in boyfriend, also employed at the plant, who finally gets tired of her trouble and interference and books on her; Cher as her lesbian friend, also working at Kerr-McGee and perhaps her only friend; Craig T. Nelson as her supervisor and general nemesis; Diana Scarwid as the girlfriend of Chers' who is a beautician at the local funeral parlor and brings information to Silkwood about the state of the bodies she sees from Kerr-McGee; Ron Silver as the union representative after the bust; Fred Ward; and Tess Harper.
An unfortunate movie that had to be made with a powerful story behind it. I believe that Nichols did an outstanding job of bringing this story to light and pulled some wonderful performances from all the actors involved. Strepp, always an enigma with her ability to slide into her role, gives probably the most believable performance in the movie.
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Susi Dawson (SusiDee34)
Live your life with the goal to 'pay it forward' and do one good thing for someone else
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Based on the true story of Karen Silkwood, an employee of an Oklahoma plutonium plant who died in a mysterious car accident before blowing the whistle about dangerous conditions at the plant. Academy Award Nominations: 5, including Best Director, Best Actress--Meryl Streep, Best (Original) Screenplay.