Meryl Streep (Karen Silkwood), Kurt Russell
(Drew Stephens), Cher (Dolly Pelliker), Craig T. Nelson (Winston), Diana Scarwid (Angela), Fred Ward (Morgan)
Based on the true story of Karen Silkwood, a metallurgy
worker at a Texas chemical plant who campaigned for her company to provide safe measures against exposure to plutonium and it's carcinogenic effects.
The movie has a TV movie feel to it, with low-key
direction by Mike Nichols, but the trio of performances from Meryl Streep as Karen, Kurt Russell as her boyfriend and Cher as her lesbian housemate make this eminently
One little criticism is simply due to hindsight and wasn't
considered a big deal when the film was made in 1983. This is that it depicts Silkwood as a habitual chain smoker, smoking cigarettes in practically every scene. As said above, the irony of
this wouldn't have stood out in 1983, but by modern standards seems like Ronald McDonald campaigning about the dangers of eating fast food.
Nevertheless, a very good biopic and a unique insight into
the unscrupulous practices of a nuclear plant.