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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.

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(novel), (screenplay)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Coleman Silk
... Faunia Farley
... Lester Farley
... Nathan Zuckerman
... Young Coleman Silk
... Steena Paulsson
... Mr. Silk
... Nelson Primus
... Mrs. Silk
Lizan Mitchell ... Ernestine
... Ellie
Phyllis Newman ... Iris Silk
... Psychologist
... Herb Keble
... 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:

Miramax | Official site

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cloveski madez  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Feature film debut for Wentworth Miller. The star of this film, Nicole Kidman, would later star in Miller's debut as a screenwriter, Stoker (2013). See more »

Goofs

When Coleman is looking in the dictionary for the definition of the word "Spooks" he turns to nearly the beginning of the book that couldn't possibly be the letter "S" See more »

Quotes

Herb Keble: Coleman Silk and his wife Iris were betray by the moral stupidity of a censorious and coercive community. And I was a part of that community. We all were.
See more »

Connections

References The Oprah Winfrey Show (1984) 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
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User Reviews

 
A Near Perfect Film
20 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

I honestly can not think of a single thing wrong with this movie. The actors are top rate actors that consistently turn in exceptional performances. This movie is no exception.

The plot is intriguing. The pasts of the main protagonists unfold, making their characters exceptionally deep. We get to see these characters evolve in interesting and compelling ways. There are shades-of-grey in these characters. We don't have the perfect hero. We have gentle people with kind hearts who make mistakes.

The direction is perfectly understated. There is a lot of nuance in the way the scenes are filmed and the way in which the actors are framed. Instead of the love scenes being the all-to-familiar humping and groaning, these scenes are filmed without graphic nudity. Note the way in which Anthony Hopkins places his hands on Nicole Kidman's back. It is so loving and tender and intimate.

Even the editing is right on. The length of the film, at 106 minutes, is the perfect length. There are no wasted scenes.

Some of the material is hard to watch. Note the posture and the facial expression on Anthony Hopkins in the kitchen scene in which Nicole Kidman is giving him a hard time. It is subtle and painful to watch.

If you are into light-hearted escapist film, this isn't for you. The subject matter is deep and difficult. I like these kinds of movies and this one is one of the best in class.

Kudos to all involved with this film.


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