Roth's fiction has challenged (and defeated) moviemakers for decades. "Goodbye, Columbus" (1969) was memorable mostly because of dialogue lifted straight from the book and the clever casting of Richard Benjamin and (in her first movie) Ali McGraw. "Portnoy's Complaint" (1972) was a disaster. "The Human Stain" (2003) delivered a genuine sad sting but was under-energized and modest to a fault. "Elegy" (2008), based on Roth's "The Dying Animal," was the best of them (see trailer above) -- an unusually spacious and well-populated chamber drama. But it suffered from the near-fatal miscasting of Ben Kingsley as a sexually charismatic critic and minor cultural celebrity.