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Disgrace (2008)

 -  Drama  -  18 June 2009 (Australia)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 4,118 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 35 user | 82 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

After having an affair with a student, a Cape Town professor moves to the Eastern Cape, where he gets caught up in a mess of post-apartheid politics.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jessica Haines ...
...
Fiona Press ...
Bev Shaw
Antoinette Engel ...
...
Soraya
Antonio Fisher ...
Sidney - Student
Isabella De Villiers ...
Mrs. Cundell - Student
Cindy Mkaza ...
Mrs. Mbeti - Student
Liezel De Kock ...
Student Director
Charles Tertiens ...
David Denis ...
Mr. Isaacs
Paula Arundell ...
Dr Farodia Rassool
Anne Looby ...
Rosalind
David Ritchie ...
Manas Mathbane
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Storyline

Cape Town professor David Lurie blatantly refuses to defend himself for an affair with a colored student whom he gave a passing grade for an exam she didn't even attend. Dismissed, he moves to his daughter Lucy's farm, which she runs under most disadvantaged terms, favoring the black locals. Yet rowdies, unprovoked, violently rob and abuse them both. Lucy refuses to fight back, unlike David, who is surprised by his own altruistic potential. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What is a mad heart? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, nudity, some violence and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

18 June 2009 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Desgracia  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,615 (USA) (18 September 2009)

Gross:

$66,643 (USA) (2 October 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

'Disgrace' won the Best Narrative Film (The Black Pearl) Award at the Middle East Film Festival 2008. See more »

Goofs

When David confronts Lucy at the impound yard, he pulls her left arm away from the steering wheel. In the next shot, it has returned. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Professor David Lurie: I haven't heard from my daughter.
Soraya: Still living with a woman.
Professor David Lurie: Yes, still a lesbian. Still on the farm. She thinks it's safe there.
Soraya: No where's safe. Too many people with nothing to do but cause trouble. How's work?
Professor David Lurie: They look through me when I speak. Forget my name.
Soraya: There's no respect anymore. Have you missed me?
Professor David Lurie: I miss you all the time.
See more »

Soundtracks

Hardcore
Written and performed by Antony Partos
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User Reviews

 
Being John Malkovich...
1 October 2012 | by (Salisbury, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Being John Malkovich means you can make this sort of fairly unpleasant and often disturbing dark tale into both an actor's piece and a reasonably good movie, from what is a bit of a dog's ear, which I saw on BBC1.

Few do contemptible sneering the way that Malkovich can and as in his best roles, he's a suitably complex nasty piece of work, emotionally shallow and morally drowning, we see him fall from what grace he had - and into the disgrace of the title.

Set in post Apartheid South Africa, the location is unusual as are the economic and political set-ups, creating an intriguing if beguiling premise. It's based on the Booker Prize-winning novel by J M Coetzee and ably directed by Steve Jacobs, of which this is his second only feature.

After the suicide of the young female mixed-race student, who had had a sexual relationship with white university lecturer David Lurie (Malkovich), the English professor is sacked. Finding he has no option, he goes to live with his lesbian daughter on a remote farm in the bush. Both willing to fit in and help to protect his own interests Lurie tries to accept both his fate and the set-up he has to tolerate, while the ever presence of black odd-job worker Petrus (Eriq Ebouaney) both irritates and underscores the whole black/white power struggle that resonates throughout the film.

Just as the film settles, some very nasty things happen and these are, frankly, unpleasant and difficult to sit through, with no restraints on graphic details. He's set on fire, pet dogs slaughtered and a rape. All done by black youths, seemingly on a whim.

Get past these though and the you will be rewarded; not in a film of great triumph and people changed and redeemed, riding off into the sunset but a slow realisation that life is just that and one has to admit personal shortfalls and to live with that. Disgrace is a fairly memorable film (maybe some of the parts more than the whole) but isn't one I particularly wish to see again, so the DVD won't be on my Christmas wish-list. For those who like and appreciate a challenging, well acted and modern human drama, it has a lot going for it.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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