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Slideshow

THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY

U.S., 1999
Directed by Anthony Minghella
Starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Philip Baker Hall
Screenplay by Anthony Minghella
DCP. Approx. 139 min.


A boyish, smiling Matt Damon is also “a sneaky, murdering enigma” (Lisa Schwarzbaum, EW) as
Tom Ripley in Anthony Minghella’s adaptation of Highsmith’s first Ripley thriller, set in sun-kissed 1950s Southern Italy. Jude Law, in an Academy Award-nominated performance, is Dickie, the spoiled playboy son of an American shipping magnate, whom Ripley has been assigned to coax back to the states. But once Ripley has a taste for Dickie’s elevated lifestyle, and gains the approval of Dickie’s girlfriend Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow), his talent for “forging signatures, telling lies, impersonating practically anybody” snaps into action.

Reviews

“A gorgeously unsettling film.”
– Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

“The indolent, sensual glamour of Italy in the late 1950s – a playground for young, rich American WASP expatriates – is beautifully captured in THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY.”
– David Ansen, Newsweek

“Minghella's imaginative but mostly faithful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's classic study of a sociopathic killer is a class act, in every sense. Not only is it an elegantly polished affair, with top notch performances all round, and magnificent camerawork and editing, it's also acutely aware of how class, money and sex shape desire and resentment, and of the distinctions between presenting a facade to the world, outright pretence and the more radical practice of reinventing oneself. It's into these registers that Minghella weaves
the most intriguing and ironic undertones.”

– Geoff Andrew, Time Out

“Writer-director Anthony Minghella’s artful transposition of Patricia Highsmith’s chillingly perverse 1955 psychological crime novel into an attractive, unsettling crime travelogue… Minghella’s Ripley may be a better, more dangerous phony for our time: pleasant except when cornered, cute except when evil. Embodied by Damon with his fashion-ad grace and magazine-cover smile, this ‘90s version of a mid-century devil displays a greater range of emotion than the late Highsmith favored and expresses his homoerotic longings more openly than she had interest in…a classy, subtle drama that incorporates fine jazz and divine tourist vistas, the pleasures of young men roughhousing and the beauty of young women sashaying through the streets like Ruth Orkin photos come to life…Minghella makes an enticing, intelligent, well-shaped picture about the extreme perils of class envy and sexual panic.”
– Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

Film Forum