6.3/10
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216 user 115 critic

The Human Stain (2003)

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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.

Director:

Robert Benton

Writers:

Philip Roth (novel), Nicholas Meyer (screenplay)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Hopkins ... Coleman Silk
Nicole Kidman ... Faunia Farley
Ed Harris ... Lester Farley
Gary Sinise ... Nathan Zuckerman
Wentworth Miller ... Young Coleman Silk
Jacinda Barrett ... Steena Paulsson
Harry Lennix ... Mr. Silk
Clark Gregg ... Nelson Primus
Anna Deavere Smith ... Mrs. Silk
Lizan Mitchell Lizan Mitchell ... Ernestine
Kerry Washington ... Ellie
Phyllis Newman ... Iris Silk
Margo Martindale ... Psychologist
Ron Canada ... Herb Keble
Mili Avital ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Germany | France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 2003 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Cloveski madez See more »

Filming Locations:

Québec, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$839,170 (France), 31 October 2003

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,034,195, 2 November 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,381,227, 1 February 2004

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,863,804
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of four collaborations between Margo Martindale and Robert Benton. See more »

Goofs

When Coleman first gives Faunia a ride to her place, it is raining outside. When he gets out of the car to go inside, the entire windshield is dry and clean as a whistle, even the area that is outside the reach of the wipers. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Silk: Coleman, you think like a prisoner. You're white as snow and you think like a slave.
See more »

Connections

References The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Embraceable You
(1930)
Music by George Gershwin (as George)
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Performed by Teddy Wilson
Courtesy of San Juan Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Almost Great
16 November 2003 | by brenttraftSee all my reviews

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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