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Human nature - Michel Gondry, Tim Robbins, Rhys Ifans, Patricia Arquette

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

A philosophical burlesque, Human nature follows the ups and downs of an obsessive scientist, a female naturalist, and the man they discover, born and raised in the wild. As scientist Nathan (Tim Robbins) trains the wild man Puff (Rhys Ifans) in the ways of the world - starting with table manners - Nathan's lover Lila (Patricia Arquette) fights to preserve the man's simian past, which represents a freedom enviable to most.

Persons of interest

  • Tim Robbins .... Nathan
  • Chase M Bebak .... young Nathan
  • Rhys Ifans .... Puff
  • Patricia Arquette .... Lila
  • Hilary Duff .... young Lila
  • Robert Forster .... Nathan's father
  • Mary Kay Place .... Nathan's mother
  • Toby Huss .... young Nathan's father
  • Miranda Otto .... Gabrielle
  • Peter Dinklage .... Frank
  • Miguel Sandoval .... Wendell
  • Anthony Winsick .... Wayne
  • Rosie Perez .... Louise
  • Charlie Kaufman .... Screenwriter
  • Michel Gondry .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

  • Human nature official movie site
  • Human nature QuickTime movie trailers
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Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Someone having a fit of angst. Why are we here? Why do we behave the way we do? Why do we treat each other so badly? There is a clear and strong connection to Adaptation, also written by Charlie Kaufman, both stylistically and thematically. Human nature is an art film as much about art (or angst) as it is about a boy raised by the apes. Along the way, it pokes fun at body fascists, adultery, victims, ivory tower scientists and men with small penises (if that isn't a tautology).

The cast are all adequate but none are A-list and some are Art-house-only, if that's the sort of thing you use to judge your films.

If you like Charlie Kaufman's other films (eg Being John Malkovich, Confessions of a dangerous mind, Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind), you'll like this one, but you do have to like his threadbare, angstful, almost bitter sense of humour. He certainly puts himself into his work, which is something good writers are supposed to do (it depends on who they are, of course, some people don't have anything to put into their work but that doesn't stop them from writing).

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound
  • Languages: English
  • Picture: Widescreen 16:9
  • Special features:
    • Featurettes
    • Interviews: Cast and crew
    • Trailers: Theatrical
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, English closed captions, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish

Security censorship classification

MA 15 + (Medium level coarse language)

Surveillance time

96 minutes (1:36 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 26 December 2002
DVD rental: 9 July 2003
VHS rental: 9 July 2003

Cinema surveillance images

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