Whoa. Nuclear processing plants sure weren’t that nice places to work in during the 70s. Safety violations compromising the health of the workers were not unheard of and unions that had interest in workers’ rights and environmental issues were kept out with even some of the employees standing up for the company, afraid to losing their job.
Based on real events that unfolded at Ken-McGee fuel fabrication site in Oklahoma between 1972 and 1974, Silkwood gains a credibility by not representing its subject Karen Silkwood as a saint, but a controversial character and a co-worker who rarely shied away from conflicts.
Meryl Streep wears the role well, making the character her’s. Cher and Kurt Russell both do well in their supporting roles, but somehow just can’t shake of their perfect 10 Hollywood aura to successfully pull off the blue collar worker act.
Silkwood is built towards its climate with such a tour de force that the actual ending falls flat in comparison. Even so, Silkwood’s message of ruthless corporations, money and politics is timeless, and definitely worth a watch.