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.
Director: Steve Jacobs
Writer: J.M. Coetzee and Anna Maria Monticelli
Producer: Steve Jacobs, Anna Maria Monticelli and Emile Sherman
Cast: Scott Cooper, Eriq Ebouaney, Jessica Haines, John Malkovich, Fiona Press, Monroe Reimers and Charles Tertiens