The Human Stain

HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO ESCAPE THE PAST?

Coleman Silk (Anthony Hopkins), a bitter Jewish teacher who was fired after making a racially insensitive remark, befriends an isolated writer (Gary Sinise) and falls in love with an emotionally scarred woman (Nicole Kidman). Philip Roth explored self-contempt and social status in his highly regarded novel and this movie adaptation doesn’t disappoint. The story follows the protagonist as his new love affair becomes a symbolic experience in regards to his life’s greatest secret, but it also takes us back to when he was 18 and did something shameful and life-changing. A moving and intelligent film, even though it’s hard to imagine Wentworth Miller as a young Hopkins.

2003-U.S. 105 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg, Scott Steindorff. Directed by Robert Benton. Screenplay: Nicholas Meyer. Novel: Philip Roth. Cinematography: Jean-Yves Escoffier. Music: Rachel Portman. Cast: Anthony Hopkins (Coleman Silk), Nicole Kidman (Faunia Farley), Ed Harris (Lester Farley), Gary Sinise, Wentworth Miller, Jacinda Barrett.

Last word: “[The film is] cautiously hopeful. There’s a notion that in all that is outwardly tragic there is something embedded that is not tragic. You have to understand that I’m a religious person, and I’m going to ram hope down your throat.” (Benton, Box Office Mojo)

 

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