The Human Stain (2003)

R   |    |  Drama, Romance, Thriller


The Human Stain (2003) Poster

When a disgraced former college dean has a romance with a mysterious younger woman haunted by her dark, twisted past, he is forced to confront a shocking fact about his own life that he has kept secret for fifty years.

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6.3/10
27,780

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  • Anthony Hopkins in The Human Stain (2003)
  • Jacinda Barrett and Gabriel Macht at an event for The Human Stain (2003)
  • Nicole Kidman and Philip Roth in The Human Stain (2003)
  • Robert Benton in The Human Stain (2003)
  • Anthony Hopkins at an event for The Human Stain (2003)
  • Anthony Hopkins and Robert Benton in The Human Stain (2003)

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12 September 2005 | hipcheck
9
| Vastly understated and underrated
I'm terrifically surprised at all the middling reviewing of this film, to the point where I feel I have to echo the last few reviews that stand in opposition.

This is a film that just does it right. Unlike so many other dramas with heavyweight casts, this really feels like it's about the story, not the work. Kidman, aside from slipping into her native accent on a handful of words, is fantastic -- perhaps her very best. Harris, like Streep and maybe two or three other actors, brings a real humanity to a role that any other actor would just fill out.

But most of all, everything is in the background and hence subservient to the story. The gorgeous lighting, scenery, dialog -- the whole craft of the film is done the way it's supposed to be done, in the damn background. That all said, I think the real reason this film is slighted is because it's a little too good for the average viewer. It doesn't live up to their idea of what a lit-cum-drama is supposed to feel like. I just have a feeling that in several years this will be revisited and appreciated much more. Now, I'm going to go watch it again!

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