Blu-ray Disgrace [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray 6315701),
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John Malkovich stars in director Steve Jacobs's adaptation of J.M. Coetzee's Booker Prize-winning novel concerning a Cape Town professor whose flight from scandal leads him into a direct confrontation with the lingering demons of apartheid. Fastidious Cape Town college professor David Lurie (Malkovich) may see himself as somewhat impervious, though he's about to bring about his own downfall due to a selfish and foolhardy relationship with a student who isn't afraid to drag their clandestine affair screaming into the light. When controversy erupts on campus as a result of the affair, David beats a hasty retreat into the countryside in order to lie low on his daughter Lucy's (Jessica Haines) farm in the Eastern Cape. David fears for his daughter's isolation, fears that are soon confirmed when father and daughter are violently attacked by three black youth. In the aftermath of the horrific siege, David is deeply shaken to learn that one of their assailants is, in fact, a relative of trusted worker Petrus (Eriq Ebouaney), who lives peacefully alongside Lucy in the South African brush and has even begun constructing a home at the edge of her property. Can these people somehow find grace in a country that's still struggling with its tragic history, or is that history destined to repeat itself forever into the future?
John Malkovich, Fiona Press, Eriq Ebouaney, Jessica Haines, Antoinette Engel
3.5 stars out of 5 -- "A simmering lead performance by John Malkovich anchors Aussie director Steve Jacobs' surprisingly deft screen adaptation of South African Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee's wildly-acclaimed 199 novel DISGRACE..."
"[A] faithful compelling screen adaptation....DISGRACE is all the more devastating for being so coolly dispassionate."
New York Times
"Jacobs and Monticelli have approached their challenging source material with a clear and committed cinematic vision."
Los Angeles Times
"Its characters are uncompromisingly themselves, flawed, stubborn, vulnerable....This is one of the year's best films..."
[D]emanding but ultimately rewarding....Nothing is simple in this film, which ramifies into parallel meditations on race, the transformation of racial politics and lessons to be learned from the lives of dogs.
Wall Street Journal
"Newcomer Jessica Haines is transparent and heartbreaking as the prof's unorthodox daughter, a victim of violence as the old ways crumble." -- Grade: B
"John Malkovich's portrayal of an aging and sexually aggressive professor of poetry is enough to make the film worth anyone's while."
4 stars out of 5 -- "Skillfully adapted from JM Coetzee's novel, DISGRACE is set in post-Apartheid South Africa....Powerful and clear-eyed."
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