Disgrace | Chicago Reader


Adapted from an acclaimed novel by J.M. Coetzee, this 2008 Australian feature stars John Malkovich as a hard-hearted white professor whose aggressive seduction of a mixed-race student gets him fired from his college in Cape Town, South Africa. He retreats to the rough terrain of his daughter’s farm on the eastern Cape, where a brutal attack on him and his daughter (Jessica Haines) and an unexpected friendship with the dowdy woman who runs the local animal shelter (Fiona Press) prod him toward a greater self-awareness. The movie eventually begins to wilt under the sober, plodding direction of Steve Jacobs, but the thoughtful screenplay gives Malkovich a complex, increasingly reflective character arc that he plays with great feeling, making the professor’s redemption seem honestly won. R, 120 min.



  • Steve Jacobs


  • Scott Cooper
  • Eriq Ebouaney
  • Jessica Haines
  • John Malkovich
  • Fiona Press
  • Monroe Reimers
  • Charles Tertiens


  • J.M. Coetzee
  • Anna Maria Monticelli


  • Steve Jacobs
  • Anna Maria Monticelli
  • Emile Sherman

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