We gave it an A-
Ben Kingsley is ferocious, fit, and frisky as a horndog college professor romantically obsessed with one of his comely students in this small-gem adaptation of Philip Roth’s 2001 novella The Dying Animal. It’s easily the actor’s best performance since Sexy Beast. Roth can be a bit of a broken record when it comes to aging lotharios grappling with their own mortality. So there’s a delicious irony in the fact that it took a female director (Isabel Coixet) to make his pet theme resonate anew. And then there’s Penélope Cruz. The freshly minted Oscar winner (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) gives her second sensational (if somewhat less-seen) turn of 2008 as an enigmatic beauty with the power to turn otherwise sane men into mush. Sadly, the disc’s EXTRAS are less seductive: a ponderous commentary from screenwriter Nicholas Meyer and some so-so cast interviews. A?