Paladin
Lisa Schwarzbaum
September 23, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Disgrace

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
Limited Release Date
09/11/09
performer
Eriq Ebouaney, John Malkovich, Jessica Haines
director
Steve Jacobs
author
Anna Maria Monticelli
genre
Drama

We gave it a B

Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee’s great, brutal, prizewinning 1999 novel about the nature of men (in contrast with dogs) in post-apartheid South Africa gets a faithful, if wearying, adaptation, slow and spare. In Disgrace, John Malkovich brings his unique, compelling coldness to the weight-bearing role of a middle-aged university professor whose sexual and racial arrogance (including an affair with a black student) leads to a personal disgrace and humbling that mirrors that of his fellow oblivious white countrymen in the new order. Newcomer Jessica Haines is transparent and heartbreaking as the prof’s unorthodox daughter, a victim of violence as the old ways crumble. B

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