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:: Disgrace

It’s a major scoop to get an actor with the skills of John Malkovich to star in an Australian funded film, it’s an added bonus that the film turns out as good as ‘Disgrace’ has. This isn’t just one of the finest Australian films to be released this year this is one the best films that has surfaced anywhere this year. ‘Disgrace’ is an amazing film. Its scipt is amazing and its cast is top notch.

Based on JM Coetzee’s novel ‘Disgrace’ tells the story of an university lecturer, David Lurie (John Malkovich). Teaching at a Cape Town university David has a sexual relationship with one of his students, Melanie (Antoinette Engel). She feels the relationship as forced and reports David to the university heads. David is forced to resign and decides to head to his daughter Lucy’s (Jessica Haines) farm. In the middle of post-apartheid South Africa she is trying to farm-share with a South African native, Petrus (Eriq Ebouaney), a man who David straight away doesn’t trust. David and Lucy’s relationship seems to strengthen and he even finds time to do some work at an animal shelter run by Bev Shaw (Fiona Press). Then one day the farm is attacked by three young black men. Lucy is raped and David assaulted and burnt. David is sure that Petrus organised the attack but can he convince Lucy of the same thing and get her to go to the Police.

Australian director, Steve Jacobs does an amazing job on a film that can be confronting and awkward for the audience to the watch. He does a great job in protecting the audience from some of the more violent scenes but not losing any of the emotion generated from these events… a lot of directors wouldn’t have the skill to pull such an amazing feat off. Despite his inexperience as a feature film director Jacobs manages to pull off this film remarkably well and make it a cinema masterpiece. The way he captures the harshness of the South African countryside is brilliant, as is the way he directs John Malkovich it what deserves to be an Oscar winning performance.

As you would expect Malkovich is at the top of his game and manages to make what most people would consider an ‘unlikeable’ character one where you are actually concerned what happens him. He is well supported by Jessica Haines who plays an extremely difficult role to perfection. It is also good to see Australian actress Fiona Press doing so well amongst a star-studded cast.

‘Disgrace’ may not be a comfortable watch but it is well worth the effort. The storyline of this film makes it one of the best films of the year, and is so powerful that you will remember this film for a long time to come.