The Human Stain

Superior adaptation of Philip Roth novel

Trending Now

OPENS JANUARY 23, CERT 15, 106 MINS

For using the word “spooks” in class, though he means “ghosts”, distinguished academic Coleman Silk (Anthony Hopkins) becomes the target of a politically correct witch-hunt. His wife dies; his reputation is ruined. Meeting reclusive writer Nathan Zuckerman (Gary Sinise), he reflects on his life, but any notions of calm are scuppered when he falls into a tempestuous affair with the emotionally damaged Faunia (Nicole Kidman), 30 years his junior. She has a bitter Vietnam Vet ex-husband (Ed Harris) and more problems than even Silk’s wisdom can comprehend. But Silk’s past houses a secret?one he’s never told anyone.

Director Robert Benton has adapted Roth’s incendiary book with unflappable subtlety. Hopkins’ performance has to be both towering and vulnerable, and is. Sinise and Harris are reliable, and the younger cast excel. Benton fluidly flies this American tragedy across time, morals and ethics, and across scenes of privilege, poverty, prejudice, boxing, eroticism, loneliness and deep inexplicable connection. Magnificent.

Advertisement

Latest Issue

Nirvana, Paul McCartney, Amy Winehouse, Altın Gün, Sly Stone, Grateful Dead, The Jam, Will Sergeant, Rodney Crowell, Sparks, Rodrigo Amarante, Lump, Jakob Dylan and PJ Harvey
Advertisement

Features

Dave Grohl looks back on Nevermind sessions: “Nobody thought Nirvana was going to be huge”

Thirty years after Nevermind transformed Nirvana from adolescent punks to global superstars, Dave Grohl tells us about the album's making, freezing cold rehearsal spaces, road trips with Kurt Cobain, and "Wilson Philips, Mariah Carey and fucking Bon Jovi"
Advertisement