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.
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Stephen Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
- 2 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action