Plot Cultural critic David Kepesh (Ben Kingsley) finds his life thrown into tragic disarray by Consuela Castillo (Penélope Cruz), a well-mannered student who awakens a sense of sexual possessiveness in her teacher.
Odd that Cruz gets top billing in this adaptation of Philip Roth’s The Dying Animal when it’s so entirely about Sir Ben’s celebrated academic, his obsession with a student and his gnawing belief that his overwhelming desire will drive her away. Cruz’s character is a blank in whose limpid eyes the camera searches in vain for what she thinks and feels. A lot more engaging are the sophisticated intimates: Patricia Clarkson, as the prof’s long-standing fuck-buddy, and Dennis Hopper as his sarcastic drinking partner. Director Coixet strives to make it affecting, but it’s even more turgid than screenwriter Nicholas Meyer’s previous Roth adaptation, The Human Stain.
Verdict While the supporting actors are engaging, the turgid screenplay lets the whole thing down.
I agree with Andy399. I liked the multilayered story, particularly that of his relationshipwith his son.
As someone who has lost someone they loved to cancer in almost exactly the same way, I found the characters reaction to it realistic and very moving.
Underrated by Angie Errigo, this is a film that will prove worth your fiver. Although there is some poor screenplay, Cruz and other cast play such a good part that this is easily enjoyed. Although it is nothing classic, it has some great scenes, (yes, the sex scenes are good, but there are others). As for DVD or Blu ray buyers, it is onl;y worth a rent ... More