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.
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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
I almost did not see this because of the poor reviews (only 38% on Rotten Tomatoes) but I'm glad I ignored the reviews and saw it any way. While far from perfect, it is still one of the better films of the year.
This is a film that aims high, which makes it's imperfections stand out all that much more. While the critics have documented all that is wrong with this film, it is still a powerful story with great acting and cinematography. For me, more cinematic style would have been what this film needed to take it from being a good film to being a great film.
A strong 8/10 rating.
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