Monday, February 24, 2014

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

Director: Anthony Minghella

Writers: Anthony Minghella, Patricia Highsmith

Composer: Gabriel Yared

Starring: Matt damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jack Davenport, James Rebhorn, Sergio Rubini, Philip Baker Hall

More info: IMDb

Tagline: How far would you go to become someone else.

Plot: The 1950s. Manhattan lavatory attendant, Tom Ripley, borrows a Princeton jacket to play piano at a garden party. When the wealthy father of a recent Princeton grad chats Tom up, Tom pretends to know the son and is soon offered $1,000 to go to Italy to convince Dickie Greenleaf to return home. In Italy, Tom attaches himself to Dickie and to Marge, Dickie's cultured fiancée, pretending to love jazz and harboring homoerotic hopes as he soaks in luxury. Besides lying, Tom's talents include impressions and forgery, so when the handsome and confident Dickie tires of Tom, dismissing him as a bore, Tom goes to extreme lengths to make Greenleaf's privileges his own.

My rating: 9/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

I adore this picture.  It's the late 50s atmosphere that does it the most.  Gabriel Yared's underlying, suspenseful score, the wonderful performances (although Damon's look and mannerisms creep me out for the first half), the beautiful Italian locations, the costumes, lighting, cinematography, everything builds for a tension filled flick that's got one hell of a conclusion. It feels very much like a Hitchcock flick but still keeping it Minghella's own.  If I were a reader I'd pick up the novel and devour it. Hoffman plays a great cad, so good that you'd think he were like that in real life.  Man, this is a well-cast film with some fine performances.  The singing dubbing doesn't work as well as it should but that's a minor nitpick.

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