The Human Stain

Release Date: October 31, 2003
Limited release

Shouldn't Hopkins be the one out of focus?

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An all-star cast and virtual who's who of the greatest actors of our time has been assembled by Miramax for the production of The Human Stain. Front-lined by Hannibal himself, Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman as the best-looking janitor in the Northern Hemisphere and Gary Sinise as the writer trying to uncover a mystery, this movie loudly screams Oscar consideration.

It tells the story of Hopkins as Coleman Silk, a respected professor in a quiet New England town. Unexpectedly, he is painted as a racist and finds his career ruined overnight. As he hides away in shame, Sinise's character, Nathan Zuckerman, sets out to find out the truth about Silk. During the course of this research, he discovers many unexpected facts of the quiet scholar's life, not the least of which is that he once had an affair with the janitor.

As the revelations unfold, Silk's life becomes more and more intriguing and complicated to Zuckerman, so he finds himself a de facto biographer of the professor's life. This also makes him the key to Silk's redemption in the eyes of the other people in town.

I think it is relatively obvious that this film is another in the long line of Miramax Oscar-bait ensemble films. This point is driven home by the fact that all four headliners have either been nominated for or won an Academy Award for acting. It also bears noting that Kidman and Hopkins have also proven themselves to be box-office draws, something of a rare feat considering the eclectic roles they have taken over the years.

Kidman in particular is riding a hot streak right now, as she has become a media darling in the wake of the break-up of her marriage to Tom Cruise. Her presence immediately escalates the film with regards to buzz and box-office potential. The main concern is that Miramax already appears to have a number of candidates for awards consideration in late 2002 and late 2003 so they haven't quite decided what to do with this project yet. If it tests well, don't be surprised if it hits theaters sooner than expected, as filming has recently completed and it would make a strong December platform candidate. (David Mumpower/BOP)

September 14, 2003
The originally scheduled October 3 platform release has been scrapped in favor of a moderate 800 screen release on October 31. The (plausible) party line is that the studio is trying to help the film's Oscar chances. (Jennifer Turnock/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Human Stain
Main Cast Nicole Kidman, Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Gary Sinise
Supporting Cast Jacinda Barrett, Kerry Washington, Eric Bruno Borgman, Ron Canada, Anne Dudek, Charles W. Gray, Mimi Kuzyk, Harry J. Lennix, Anna Deaveare Smith
Director Robert Benton
Screenwriter Nicholas Meyer
Distributor Miramax
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 106 minutes
Screen Count 160
Awards Awards page for The Human Stain
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for The Human Stain
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Hannibal 2/9/0158.00 61.90 3230 17958.00 18434.8 164.97 176.07 2.84
xXx 8/9/0244.51 46.27 3374 13191.00 13191.0 141.20 146.80 3.17
Red Dragon 10/4/0236.54 37.99 3357 10885.00 10885.0 93.10 96.79 2.55
Eyes Wide Shut 7/16/9921.71 25.87 2411 9005.00 10281.3 55.64 66.30 2.56
Others, The 8/10/0114.09 15.03 1678 8397.00 8619.9 96.08 102.54 6.82
Moulin Rouge 6/1/0113.72 14.64 2279 6019.00 6178.8 57.22 61.07 4.12
Practical Magic 10/16/9813.10 16.84 2652 4940.00 6109.2 46.81 60.18 3.57
Peacemaker, The 9/26/9712.31 16.17 2362 5212.00 6586.0 41.26 54.20 3.35
Bad Company 6/7/0211.01 11.44 2944 3739.00 3739.0 30.16 31.35 2.74
Brothers, The 3/23/0110.30 10.99 1378 7477.00 7675.5 27.46 29.30 2.67
Super Mario Brothers * 5/28/938.53 12.42 2081 4099.00 5742.6 20.84 30.35 2.44
Blues Brothers 2000 2/6/986.13 7.88 2507 2445.00 3023.7 14.00 17.99 2.28
Hours, The 1/17/034.64 4.64 402 11555.00 11555.0 41.60 41.60 8.15
Desperate Hours 10/5/901.20 1.71 1033 1162.00 1597.1 2.62 3.74 2.18



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