6.3/10
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218 user 121 critic

The Human Stain (2003)

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 50 years.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

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3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lizan Mitchell ...
Ernestine
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Phyllis Newman ...
Iris Silk
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Psychologist
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Young Iris
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Storyline

The Human Stain is the story of Coleman Silk (Hopkins), a classics professor with a terrible secret that is about to shatter his life in a small New England town. When his affair with a young troubled janitor (Kidman) is uncovered, the secret Silk had harbored for over fifty years from his wife, his children and colleague, writer Nathan Zuckerman, fast explodes in a conflagration of devastating consequences. It is Zuckerman who stumbles upon Silk's secret and sets out to reconstruct the unknown biography of this eminent, upright man, esteemed as an educator for nearly all his life, and to understand how this ingeniously contrived life came unraveled. Written by lakeshoreentertainment.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How far would you go to escape the past?


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

31 October 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cloveski madez  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$839,170 (France) (31 October 2003)

Gross:

$5,381,227 (USA) (30 January 2004)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of three films to co-star Nicole Kidman and Margo Martindale. See more »

Goofs

The camera used to tape the interview is a Sony PD-150, a camera that didn't exist in 1998. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Lester Farley: You know my secret place. You know everything now, don't you Mr. Zuckerman? But you won't tell, will you?
Nathan Zuckerman: [slowly turns to walk away]
Lester Farley: Hey, the book. Send me one.
Nathan Zuckerman: It's in the mail.
See more »

Connections

References The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Sleepy Lagoon
(1940)
Music by Eric Coates
Lyrics by Jack Lawrence (uncredited)
Performed by Tommy Dorsey
Courtesy of Soundies Inc.
By Arrangement with De Pugh Music
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User Reviews

 
I don't see whats so bad
19 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There has been a lot of bad press about this movie, and, to a point, I don't understand why. Of course, I think that both Hopkins and Kidman were miscast in their respective roles, but at least Kidman trounced her miscasting and turned in a very strong, artistically nuanced performance.

This movie, to me anyways, seemed to be a bit theatrical. The camera shots are often distant, not allowing us to see the actors close up. The script is very loose, allowing for the actors to take the roles and make them their own. Also, most of the actors give very broad, exaggerated ( but not too much) performances. I consider this to be good. We live in an age when theatre is losing its popularity and the director of this film seems to have found a way to bring theatre into cinema.

There are some slight flaws in the movie. Hopkins speaks with a Weslh accent for no apparent reason. The ending is a tad bit drawn out, not terribly so.

Above all though, I consider this film to be a work of art. It certainly made me think about my own life; it's very powerful.


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