Friday 04 December 2009
The visionary gravity of J M Coetzee's Booker-winning novel is perhaps untranslatable to the screen, but Steve Jacobs's film is a very creditable try.
A bold one, too, in casting John Malkovich, the lizard king, as the lead. He plays a Cape Town University professor who, following a ruinous affair with a student, refuses to defend himself to the authorities. Disgraced, he resigns and travels to the remote farmstead of his daughter, Lucy (Jessica Haines). Up to this point Malkovich is his usual mannered seducer-creep, but after a violent break-in that leaves father and daughter physically scarred and subtly estranged from one another, the film becomes a haunting, even harrowing, meditation on the tainted legacy of white rule in South Africa. The cool restraint of Jacobs's direction is humanised by the affecting performances of Haines and, in the second half, Malkovich himself as a man who knows he's whipped – "like a dog" – with nowhere left to go.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
- 2 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
- 4 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 5 New Tricks: Dennis Waterman to leave the show after a decade of crime-solving
Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's 'Booty' music video is just a load of butts
Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since TV series ended in 2004
Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God