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Adapted from Philip Roth's novella The Dying Animal, this extraordinary drama about love and death centers on an aging Manhattan college professor (Ben Kingsley, outstanding) whose ordered existence is disrupted when he enters into a passionate affair with a sophisticated former student (Penelope Cruz, equally strong). Disdainful of monogamy but consumed by jealousy and mindful of their age gap, he begins to sabotage the relationship. Director Isabel Coixet (Paris Je T'Aime) uses close-ups and handheld camera to get under the skin of Roth's characters, who've been indelibly translated to the screen by writer Nicholas Meyer. Dennis Hopper, Patricia Clarkson, and Peter Sarsgaard shine in supporting roles. R, 106 min.

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