PAKULA'S CHOICE by Neil Sinyard

As well as a critique of Sophie’s Choice and its place within Pakula’s oeuvre (circa 1984), Sinyard’s essay locates patterns in Pakula’s work: odd couples; dark secrets; an atmosphere of pressure and paranoia; neuroses on a personal scale; neuroses on a national scale; a leaning towards political fatalism; and more.
"Characters chase shadows only to find the shadows are chasing them...or discover a darkness in their own hearts they can neither tolerate nor control...[Pakula's] films, through bizarre composition and oppressive architecture, give a palpable form to his conspiratorial view of society, in which the individual has only the illusion of freedom...Why concern himself with effete, echt-European art films like Sophie's Choice when he has a unique capacity for visualising the American Dream as it dematerialises into nightmare?"
 Source: Cinema Papers (Melbourne), July 1984.