Coleman Silk (played by Anthony Hopkins) is a long experienced and highly esteemed classics professor in small town New England. His career has recently been marred by allegations of racism and his reputation has become permanently damaged. He meets a mysterious but fascinating young woman, Faunia Farley (by Nicole Kidman) who has a few challenges in her life and they quickly begin an affair. At the same time, a writer and colleague, Nathan Zuckerman (by Gary Sinise) sets about to write the biography of his eminent, upright friend whose career has become so unravelled. During this and the turbulent relationship of Coleman and Faunia, a significant secret about Coleman is revealed. He has kept the secret for over 50 years – it unbalances everything everyone ever knew about him and could shatter his life.
This movie is an adaptation of the novel “The Human Stain” by Philip Roth. The subject matter is fascinating and the performances of both Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman are great. The movie takes a completely different turn to what I was expecting. Although there is a significant age difference, the relationship between these two characters is believeable and the way it develops is touching, but realistic with honest exploration of the insecurities and issues you would expect from such a partnership. The friendship between Coleman and Nathan is also very well developed and gives another fascinating insight into this man, Coleman. As to the secret itself, I can’t reveal that here as it would ruin the development of the story, but the exploration of the issue in this film is very well done. It’s a really great movie.