Tuesday, November 29, 2005

THE HUMAN STAIN
Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, Wentworth Miller

"How far would you go to escape the past?"

Star Movies

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An obscure movie with a great cast based on a novel by Philip Roth. An author I am not familiar with but the film caught my interest. It is a story as told by a writer about a Classics professor in a small academe town. The setting is in the late nineties when the sex scandal of former President Clinton rocked America. Coleman Silk, an erudite mentor is wrongfully accused of racism by one of his students. He is therefore unceremoniously fired by the university. His wife of several years suddenly dies of a heart attack so he is left alone to fend for himself. He seeks out a reclusive writer to help him write his story, a memoir of his life. His life unravels when he meets and falls in love with a troubled younger woman, a janitor in the university. His reckless behavoir shocks the whole community. To further complicate matters, her ex husband stalks her. This adds to the messy turmoil that the unfortunate Coleman has to deal with. We are also shown glimpses of his younger years as a student in the mid forties, his boxing hobby and his romance with a fellow student. But Coleman Silk has a dark secret which he has managed to hide throughout the years. His parents are Afro Americans, both of his siblings are dark skinned. He is the only "white" person in his family. Back in the days when the color of a man's skin determines his standing in society, Coleman chose to hide his true ancestry. Shunning his heritage and breaking away from the restrictive bonds of being a "colored" individual.
Anthony Hopkins gives life to the professor with ease, his academe personality shines throughout the movie. Gary Sinise is the reclusive writer trying to find out the truth about Coleman Silk. Nicole Kidman as a trashy lowlife takes a bit of getting used to but as usual she is a consummate actress who can essay all types of roles. Ed Harris complete the cast as the ex husband with an axe to grind. Good movie with a sensitive theme. When I said obscure I meant it wasn't given due credit since it doesn't have the standard Hollywood flare of sex, gore and violence. A pity, since you rarely find a film with a good cast.

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