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The Talented Mr Ripley (DVD)

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Genre: Crime & Thriller - Thriller / Theatrical Release: 1999 / Director: Anthony Minghella / Actors: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow ... / DVD released 08 January, 2001 at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainm / Features of the DVD: PAL, Widescreen

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      28.08.2012 11:57
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      A rather average film which didn't live up to my expectations

      The Talented Mr Ripley was released in 1999 starring Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow. The film is set in the 1950s.


      SYNOPSIS

      Tom Ripley is a chancer who has a penchant for forgery and an amazing ability to mimic people's voices to perfection. Whilst trying to earn money playing piano at a party he meets the extremely rich Herbert Greenleaf who believes he went to Princeton with his son Dickie. Dickie is gallivanting in Europe and his father pays Ripley $1000 to bring his son home to settle down. Ripley manages to insinuate himself into Dickie's life in Italy (letting him believe they went to Princeton together) and telling him that Dickie's father paid him to bring him home to the USA much to Dickie's amusement. His fiancé Marge is not overly impressed with Ripley but she doesn't make a fuss about the fact that this newcomer is always hanging around them. Ripley is not happy to know that Dickie is playing around with other women, and he lets Dickie know that he's aware that he got a local girl pregnant who kills herself as Dickie won't take responsibility. Ripley starts to have feelings towards Dickie which are not reciprocated and when Freddie, a friend of Dickie's from back home arrives, Ripley is left out in the cold whilst the old friends spend time together. Freddie is not at all enamoured of Ripley and makes it very obvious. Things get out of hand when Dickie and Ripley go out in a small boat and Dickie tells Ripley he doesn't want to spend time with him anymore as he's boring and a leech. A fight ensues and Ripley accidentally kills Dickie, burying his body at sea in the boat. When he's mistaken for Dickie at the hotel he gets the idea that he can pass himself off as Dickie and starts living a double life.

      How long can he get away with his murder and how long is it before those closest to Dickie start asking questions as to why they can't get hold of him in person? And just how far will Ripley go to cover his tracks?


      ANALYSIS

      The Talented Mr Ripley is the second remake of the book of the same name by Patricia Highsmith. The first film was entitled Purple Noon and released back in 1960. The film made Alain Delon a star back in its day. The version I'm reviewing was released on Christmas Day in 1999 and was pretty much an instant hit with the critics. How then have I managed to take 13 years to watch it?

      To be perfectly honest, I've never been a fan of Matt Damon or Jude Law, I've yet to see either of them play parts in a film that really impressed me. With a title of The Talented Mr Ripley I was hoping to be impressed though...

      As Tom Ripley, Damon plays the role as a somewhat of a geek. He wears the same clothes most of the time such that Dickie makes fun of his solo corduroy jacket and offers to let him borrow his jackets. Even though Marge makes fun of him, she feels some empathy towards him when Freddie appears on the scene and says that part of Dickie's charm is to make whoever is flavour of the moment with him feel like they're the only person in the world. Despite her warning we see Ripley quite obviously developing sexual feelings towards Dickie. I couldn't find myself warming to Damon's character in the slightest throughout the film even though he played it ably enough, although I don't think you're supposed to like him at all. I found myself thinking that there might have been several better choices for the actor selected to play Ripley, although I can't quite commit to who I would have personally chosen.

      As Dickie Greenleaf, Jude Law suited the character to a tee. Good looking, very tanned and well toned body, arrogant and promiscuous, he seems to play these roles quite easily. I wondered why people found this guy such a cool and loveable person to be around and I couldn't understand what his fiancé saw in him, nor why everyone found his complete arrogance so acceptable. His acting gained him a BAFTA for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

      Gwyneth Paltrow as Marge was pretty good. She is a writer looking for inspiration to finish her book yet she seemed more bothered about partying with Dickie and encouraging him to spend lots of money.

      As the 3 main characters I couldn't find myself liking Dickie, Ripley or Marge and found myself struggling to stay tuned to the end of the film to be honest. The introduction of additional characters in the film such as Meredith (played by Cate Blanchett), an heiress who Ripley meets on his way to Italy and pretends for the first time to be Dickie Greenleaf sets the scene for later awkward situations and Peter Smith-Kingsley (played by Jack Davenport) who becomes Ripley's lover makes the story somewhat more watchable. I did like the character of Peter Smith-Kingsley although sadly I was right about what the outcome of that relationship was going to be.

      The Talented Mr Ripley seems to be a psychological thriller and is probably an early depiction of identity theft taken to extremes. The added complication of the murdered actually having sexual feelings towards his victim makes this even more eerie and watching through the end of the film you wonder what is what about Ripley's past that made him grow into a man with so few morals. I imagine this would have been more detailed in the book but it's not so obvious in the film aside from a few references here and there to his past, it's not enough to justify his behaviour.

      Without pulling the characters to pieces any further I have to say I found the locales used in the film quite enchanting. I've only been to Rome once and enjoyed watching the different parts of Italy used in the filming, e.g. seeing The Spanish Steps brought back some lovely memories of a beautiful city and left me wanting to visit Rome again.

      If you're a fan of director Anthony Minghella you may quite enjoy this film. I must admit I enjoyed his Truly, Madly, Deeply from 1990 and more recently The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. I'm also aware that The English Patient received much critical acclaim, although I'm yet to see this.

      The Talented Mr Ripley was nominated for 5 Oscars none of which it won. It was also nominated for a host of other awards, probably the most notable win being the BAFTA for Law as mentioned previously.


      RATING

      Overall I'd give The Talented Mr Ripley a just above average of 3 out of 5. I may find myself watching it again some time in the distant future to see if I like it better the second time but as it stands I'm not overly keen to recommend it as a decent watch.


      TECHNICAL

      Cast: Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jack Davenport
      Director/Screenplay: Anthony Minghella
      Producer: Sydney Pollack
      Cinematography: John Seale
      Music: Gabriel Yared

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        18.09.2011 10:22
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        Fabulous film, not what I expected.

        The Talented Mr Ripley was not a film I thought I would love. I've avoided it for years (hence only just seeing it this weekend) along with The English Patient - but that comes next.... I had seen Ripley's Game and wasn't too impressed, so avoided anything Ripley related

        'Mr Ripley' came out in 1999, and even though is set in the late 1950's, is just as relevant and the film, which is shot beautifully has barely aged.

        Anthony Minghella directs Matt Damon as Tom Ripley. Jude Law as Dickie Greenleaf and Gwyneth Paltrow as Marge. Amongst other fantastic actors such as Philip Seymour Hoffman, Cate Blanchett and Jack Davenport. The lead actors are not my favourites, and possibly why I've avoided this film for 11 years! But I have been pleasantly surprised,

        Tom Ripley is a toilet attendant in New York his life seems to be going nowhere. Until he fills in playing piano at a party for a friend who has broken his arm also sporting the friends Princeton jacket. Wearing that jacket changes his life and is the catalyst for what follows. Mr Greenleaf - a wealthy ship builder approaches him asking if he knows his son Dickie, also a Princeton grad. Tom lies and Mr Greenleaf offers him $1000 to go to Italy and bring back his son who is more about sailing boats than building them. Tom agrees and sets sail to Italy, convincing Meredith Logue that he is actually Dickie Greenleaf, the first part of stealing Dickie's identity.

        Tom finally meets with Dickie and eventually tells him that his father had sent him, but seemingly Tom had fallen in some sort of 'love' with Dickie. Mirroring his likes, so that Dickie would like him more, he becomes part of Dickie and Marge's life. Getting upset when someone else comes along who Dickie showers attention on. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Freddie who is one of those other friends and sees straight through Tom Ripley, which doesn't help him in the end.

        Without ruining the intrigue of the film, Tom Ripley doesn't bring Dickie back to New York, but has fun along the way. Tom Ripley is a very interesting character, devious for being so young, cold and heartless, but his 'friends' don't see this. Matt Damon does an excellent job being devious, but likable to the ones he puts his mask on for. Jude Law with an American accent, buts on a fab show of being a (slightly spoiled) young man who has the world and women at his fingertips. Gwyneth Paltrow, who I am not the greatest fan of, I have found her a bit wooden in the past, to play a complex character and the slight tear in her eye, wry smile conveys so much to the audience. Her character is the one you wouldn't expect to evolve but does.

        Initially she is relaxed in Italy, having a wonderful time, her clothes reflect this, cotton, loose fitting day wear. As Dickie disappears and she is getting more tense, and almost 'growing up'. Her clothes change into a modern 1950's siren, with gorgeous dresses and a sensual demeanor.

        One of the best bits in the film (I am a musical lover) is in a Jazz club in Italy, Dickie is invited onstage with Fiorello to play the sax and sing Tu Vuo Fa L'Americano, a fantastic song, full of energy. The DVD has the full version including Matt Damon joining them onstage, singing in Italian.

        This film is hugely underrated and falls under the category of a thriller, if you love this type of film but are out off by the age or the era, give it a chance ! There are twists and turns all the way to the credits of the film.

        This film is currently out of print (but not too expensive at the moment), so give it a try before it gets too expensive !!

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          08.06.2010 22:04
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          Not a movie I will ever subject myself to again.

          The Talented Mr Ripley

          CAST:

          Matt Damon
          Gwyneth Paltrow
          Jude Law
          Cate Blanchett
          Philip Seymour Hoffman
          Jack Davenport
          James Rebhorn
          Sergio Rubini
          Philip Baker Hall

          Directed By: Anthony Minghella / Based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith

          This movie was such a let-down... It absolutely bored me to bits and I was praying for it to just finish so that I could forget about it - but decided to extend that until I had written this review!

          The movie focuses on Tom Ripley (Damon) who is great at impersonating people after a brief conversation during an accidental meeting with a rich merchant shipping tycoon (Mr Greenleaf), has him believing that he knows the tycoon's son Dickie. Now, Dickie is currently in Italy - drinking, lounging and frittering his father's money away so Snr Greenleaf wants him back and will pay Damon $1000 (not worth the effort in my opinion!) if he succeeds in doing so. Damon is into classical music and plays the piano well, so feels he can fulfill his ambition of visiting Italy whilst being paid to do so!

          He finds Dickie (Jude Law) and starts by watching him with his girlfriend (Paltrow) before introducing himself to them and getting acquainted. Gwyneth invites Damon to lunch and their friendship begins.

          Tom almost begins to copy Dickie - wanting to be like him in every way and adopting his habits, musical interests and dreams/aspirations. He does reveal his mission to Dickie quite early on which provokes a negative reaction, but because he had been watching Dickie, he is able to turn this around meaning Dickie instead invites him out and then moves the guy in with him and plan to exploit Tom's expense money (from Dickie's father) further, meaning they are all rarely apart.

          Eventually Dickie does tire of Tom and his limited financial backing (especially once Dickie's father cancels the assignment and his funding for Tom) and limited experience of the world - in particular skiing! What follows is the break-up of this friendship and without spoiling the movie in any way - you see exactly how far Tom is prepared to go to keep his world together!


          My Opinion:

          I am a huge Matt Damon fan, but still found this very difficult to warm to. The movie went from confusing to boring in no time at all, and while there were some good moments in the middle - I was able to predict some occurrences (never good) and was almost willing it to hurry up and just finish!!

          The storyline is interesting but the ending spoiled it somewhat because you are almost left hanging - it was quite a dark yet predictable ending, which was a let-down given the build up throughout and I was more inspired by the end credits than anything else I had seen!

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            14.05.2009 19:32

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            A story with many twists and turns, actors being on top of their game. A great movie.

            This is a love it or hate it movie. I fall into the love it category. The DVD does the movie justice by including some superb extras that fans will really enjoy. You get to see a commentary by Anthony Minghella (deceased) who wrote the screenplay, and a couple of excellent documentaries. The film's audio comes in English (Dolby Digital 5.1) and Italian, as well as subtitles in the same languages.

            The film is pretty long being over two hours, you don't really notice it as the story is very interesting and pulls you in. The cast is 'A Class' with Matt Damon being the lead actor as Tom Ripley. Jude Law/Gwyneth Paltrow as 'Dickie' and 'Marge are amongst a few of the other stars.

            Set in the 1950's Tom Ripley does odd jobs, one important being at Princton university as a piano tuner. The beginning of the movie sees him borrowing a Princton jacket from someone who is injured, this is where the first of many lies in the movie start.

            He meets a wealthy man and pretends to be a friend of his son that he studied with. He is asked to do a favour in which he will be paid the sum of $1,000. The location of the movie is set in Italy for most and is shot really well. So Tom finds his way there and that is where the movie really starts. Many people's lives are involved in really what is a rollercoaster of a ride.
            Without ruining the plot the movie is a tense mystery/drama that is well worth watching and owning. I've seen it a few times now and there is always something new that you spot and question.

            4 out of 5

            Buy it!

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            12.01.2002 01:47
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            ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ (1999) was director Anthony Minghella's follow up to the hugely acclaimed ‘The English Patient’. Because of this, I very nearly missed it. I LOATHED ‘The English Patient’ both as a book and a film and couldn’t think of Minghella without being reminded of the hours of utter boredom I’d been subjected to by his last effort (though not his fault – what CAN you do with a story as thin as that except put a couple of beautiful people in the frame and photograph them beautifully?). I was dragged along to TTMR by a friend, and how very glad I was. It is absolutely superb. Based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, it’s a story of adultery, impersonation, murder and deception that delves deep into life’s ugly underbelly. The film stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon and Jude Law, three fine examples of gorgeousness who are filmed against the equally prepossessing backdrops of Italian villages, towns and cities. This relentless beauty contrasts brilliantly with the emotions and desires that drive the film, i.e. jealousy, insecurity, anger, bitterness, greed and homicidal lust. The Story ========= Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) is a loner-loser who is sent by a rich businessman to find and bring back to New York his son, Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law). Dickie is wayward to say the least, and is living a life of decadence and ennui in Europe with his beautiful and devoted girlfriend (Paltrow). Ripley is charmed and impressed by Greenleaf and his girlfriend, who condescendingly find Ripley amusing and are very glad to have someone new (often to laugh at) in their superficial lives. They take him on as their pet project and proceed to show him the high-life in all its empty grandeur. In turn, Ripley becomes obsessed with the pair, especially Greenleaf, and clings to them like a leech. When they then grow tired of his company,
            Ripley’s unstable psyche cannot handle the rejection. Without spoiling the plot, I will only reveal that Ripley commits more than one murder and one major deception to enable himself to remain in his new found luxurious lifestyle. What follows is as suspenseful a film as you can get, with tightly-plotted twists and turns and near-discoveries in abundance. The Actors ========== Jude Law excels as the ferociously handsome and capricious Dickie Greenleaf, giving him an arrogance combined with boyish charm that makes him irresistible. It is easy to see why Paltrow loves him, and why Ripley wants to BE him. There are also undercurrents of homo-erotica in Ripley’s feelings for Greenleaf which are beautifully played down whilst still being clearly there. Damon is also excellent as the deeply troubled, friendless, unworthy working-class young man who is suddenly landed in a social milieu he has never even dreamed of. He manages to give Ripley just the right amounts of buffoonery, confusion and sometimes creepiness that lets us know from the outset that he’s not quite all there and that Greenleaf and Marge are taking a risk by picking up and dropping him so coldly. Paltrow as Marge, Dickie’s girlfriend, is equally good and graceful. She is the perfect mirror of Law, and the pair make a highly engaging couple of sophisticates. Elsewhere pops up Cate Blanchett as an American deb on the Grand Tour, who’s appearances become increasingly important to the suspenseful plot. Mention must go, too, to Philip Seymour Hoffman as Freddie Miles, the loud, debauched friend of Dickie’s. Verdict ======= TTMR is film-making of the highest order: An excellent script delivered by superb actors, and filmed with the attention to detail and awareness of beauty you would expect from Minghella. I was thoroughly drawn into this film and found it compelling on m
            any levels. It is an intelligent exploration of the abnormal psyche, a social commentary on the emptiness of the rich existence, and a fine thriller that will have you one the edge of your seat. Very very highly recommended! Running Time 130 mins. Note for film buffs: TTMR was first filmed many years earlier as ‘Plein Soleil’ starring Alain Delon.

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              04.12.2001 02:40
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              This is class from the opening credits. If this much thought and artistic flare has gone into the first sequences then you know you’re in for a quality product. There are certain films that you just know are good by the moment the first rushes roll. Its from the camera and exquisite eye of director Anthony Mangheli of the English Patient acclaim. This to received a sprinkling of Oscars although is no where near as dull and tedious of the sprawling desert flick. It does though grab the attention with its ingenuity and the superb Italian Rivera panoramics. This guy certainly knows how to set a movie in stunning locations. Matt Damon is back on familiar ground littered with those golden statues as he put in a cracking performance as the con man come fantasists who mimics people to make a living. Up opposite him is an equally powerful turn from England’s own Jude Law. Cate Blanchett (spelt Cate) and the classically statuesque Gywnth Paltrow are the respective girlfriends who also work well of the male talent. The film starts poignantly with a sweeping view of the supposed 1950s period New York skyline (-the World Trade Center) as Damon tinkers on the piano on a serene roof top terrace. Working as a bellboy at a top New York hotel, the young schemer earns extra bucks by entertaining the upper class on the ivories. But he enjoys mimicking them and sometimes borrowing bits of their lives so he can make a few dollars. An opportunity arises that earns him a free trip to Italy and a thousand bucks. A little bit of sweet talk and a old school blazer has him shipped out to Europe to bring back a malingering playboy. He tracks down “Dicky”Greenly on the beach with Marge (Paltrow) and quickly sets about weaving himself into the playboy’s life and loves. A bit of research prolongs his stay as Damon sets his sights on far more than just free loading off a rich boy. Riply, (Damon) us
              es Dickeys love of Jazz to twist him around his little finger and delve into his psyche as he slowly steels his identity. He like me, cannot stand jazz but goes along with it with the few tunes and songs he learnt just for the trip and his metamorphous. But Law turns out to be a bit of a shirt lifter on the side and Damon sees himself as his “summer bummer”to grab his attentions. At this point in the film we are not sure he’s acting or it’s a genuine attraction, decide for yourselves lovely people. Jude Law has a bit of a reputation for playing Homo’s and i suspect he’s trying to tell us something he folks. Damon blends in well to the Italian social set and quickly becomes part of the scene. But the flippant playboy is tiring of him and his hanging around as the two fall out. But Mr Riply quite likes being around the glitteratti and plans to stick to the deception. These are the type of girls who pick n choose their wealthy sutures. Joan Rivers once said”I don’t excersize. If God wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds n the floor”. That’s the kind of folk’s bellboy Rips is up against. The film has a strong homosexual undercurrent like Michael Barrymore’s swimming when the plug has been pulled, throughout. Bending over and bellboys have no homosexual undercurrents. It does give the film a certain healthy paranoia through which adds to the enthralling experience in class filmmaking journey of film noir. Things take a turn in the plot when a stiff washes up (steady girls, and some boys) during an Italian village festival where the socialites are staying. The local girl bobbing on the waves is also implicated as this thriller begins to twist and rear like a spitting cobra. Things get very complicated when he has to play more than one person as the duplicity piles up. For the conman to stay ahead of the game,he has to use all h
              is ingenuity to be all things to everyman and woman in the affluent world he’s turning in. It’s great stuff with a director who has a superb eye for tempo and setting. The music washes over the delicious images like a butterfly in a summer’s breeze as you are delivered a very intoxicating film. I would give it four dooyoo stars alone for just the acting and presence, but it really needed a strong late kick of a twist there somewhere like a good cocktail for the full five. If you want to rent something classy in the cheap section, that’s still six months of terrestrial TV then this is the one. Superb filmmaking.

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                27.07.2001 23:41
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                I recently read Patricia Highsmith’s the talented Mr. Ripley, which I really enjoyed. The story is about a man – Tom Ripley, who is sent, by a certain Mr. Geanleaf, to Mongibello, to try and persuade his son his son to come home, as he is currently reluctant to. It’s a gripping novel, which starts off a bit slow, but speeds up after a shockingly swift event, which changes plot flying all over the place. From this point, the story becomes tense, and with superbly written escape. What makes the book so interesting, as well as just the clever, and adventurous story of it, is the unusual, and arguably evil main character of the book. Not merely the character, but subtlety of how horrific his acts actually are, and how you still want the rather likeable character to succeed! After reading the book, I immediately decided to see the film, to compare, just like I compared the book and film of the Beach – (see opinion). I expected to see a few minor changes, but instead I realised that many of the main ideas of the book, about Tom's character were, not included, as his character was changed completely. I suppose his character is best suited as a book, but this meant the general flow of the film had to be changed. This does change it a lot, and in a way spoils the beauty of the book, but its not entirely for the worse, and it doesn’t make it necessarily make it a bad movie. Another difference, was an extra two characters, and an extra relationship, which I thought were slightly pointless, but did make the film mildly more interesting, as they were not included in the book. This also contributed towards the much different ending, an ending on a different note. – With out spoiling the movie for you, the general feeling of the book, and its ending is different. I almost get the impression that makers of the film didn’t understand the deep meaning of the book, or at least didn’t want to present it. The ideas and acts t
                hat are included, however, are somewhat exaggerated, and over justified! You probably wont understand that if you do not know the story, but overall, I think the book is fantastic, and the film….is very different, more simple, but ok.

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                  10.05.2001 00:19
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                  Made in 1999, despite the widespread acclaim this film received, the Talented Mr Ripley was, for some reason, a film that never appealed to me, and thus took some time before I decided to watch it. Directed by Anthony Minghella, the same guy that won more awards than I could list in a review for his previous works under the Name of the English patient (another film I was not too keen on watching) , so although it might not be a name that springs to mind, he certainly has a strong background behind him. Starring Matt Damon as Tom Ripley, along with a very strong cast containing the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Jack Davenport, Jude Law, and many more, TTMR was originally released as a book, which I admittedly have not read, and thus any comparisons between the two would be impossible. THE FILM Focusing heavily on the main character Tom (wonderfully played by Damon), who is a slick operator and the sort of person you would always put your trust in; sent by an American millionaire to Europe (Italy) in a mission to bring back his long gone son name Dick, who has run off to Europe to live his own life. Once in the idyllic location of Italy, Tom becomes engrossed in which the life they lead, and soon sees himself leading a similar life, to which he becomes acquainted and familiarised with he whom he is sent to retrieve, becoming closer than ever intended and almost obsessed with his association. Having watched the film, there is no doubt that the shoot was located perfectly. The film and its surroundings look absolutely breathtaking. The cast perform well, most notably Damon, while it is clear this film is not for the brain-dead action lovers as it becomes complex and intelligent quite quickly and remains so. With twists and turns in the plot almost all the way through the film, almost every emotion is conveyed in this film: jealousy, tension, deceit and even murder all playing an important role in this film. Such is t
                  he complexity of the plot and the way in which this film pans out, I'm not even sure the producers and directors themselves knew how to classify the film, with it being banded around as a drama, a crime based movie, a thriller, and just about every other category you can think of. Whether this is a good or bad thing ? I'm not sure? Running for two hours, this film is on the whole very enjoyable. It does tend to slow down and almost lose its way in the middle third, but soon finds its way back on track and ties up a very good storyline in a pleasing fashion (about which I won?t give any more details, thus not spoiling the film completely for you!). Something of a long drawn drama (running at 134 minutes according to the DVD sleeve), this is not the kind of film I would normally enjoy, but am pleased to say I did so. Some say they were not overly impressed with the performance of Matt Damon as the lead role, but for me this was an enormously difficult role to play, and a huge challenge for any actor. I think he should be commended for his attempt, and gave as good a performance as anyone else would have done in my view, making this an enjoyable, if not excellent film. THE DVD DVD wise, the film looks fantastic. Picture quality is excellent (although by no means perfect) and reproduces the wonderful settings excellently. Colours look exceptional and are a joy to behold. Audio is provided in a Dolby digital 5.1 track that is used very subtly. The film is hardly a 'noisy' film and as a result is nearly all dialogue, although the odd slight effect may jitter out of the rears/sub, but nothing overly impressive, while the musical score (again from the composer of that of the English patient) does sound impressive when used (and plays quite a vital role in this film, the creation of the moods and much more then in most other movies), and is reproduced beautifully. Extras are as follows: * 2 Music
                  Videos from the film, * Teaser trailer, * Theatrical trailer, * Scene index (really an extra feature?), * Director's commentary (which I have not listened to), * Interviews with cast and crew (inc. all major cast members), * "Inside The Talented Mr Ripley" documentary, * "The Making Of The Soundtrack", OVERALL All in all this was a film I felt like I would not like, and thus took an age to watch. When I did watch it, I was impressed to a level where I felt justified in giving it a chance, but not to the point where I would watch it again. I don?t think this film will see the light of day again and be given another viewing by me, but that?s just a personal preference. I did enjoy the film but don?t think it hold much value for repeat viewing. The disk does a good film justice, with some lovely extras on a DVD with competent picture and sound quality. In hindsight, I think I would probably have rented this DVD rather than bought, and just as a precaution, that would be my recommendation to any reader.

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                    02.05.2001 02:09
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                    Yesterday, oh joy of joys, my girlfriend and I both had the day off work together for a change. So we decided to be lazy and do nothing other than eat nice food and sit in front of the television watching movies. I choose the first film, Space Quest, which I am sure to write an opinion about soon, and then she choose The Talented Mr. Ripley. What a load of pants... Granted, yes I wasn't particularly set on watching what I thought would be a chick-flick, but it wasn't that type of film. It was a murder thriller kinda thang, but that still doesn't save it... Tom Ripley is talented, cos it does exactly what it says on the tin, see. Tom's talent is that he can impersonate perfectly anyone he wants after just meeting them, or watching them say a few lines of diologue. Other than that he can forge signatures and writing styles, and do pretty much anything else you can think of that Alastair McGowan needs to improve his act on BBC1. Oh, and did I mention he plays the piano to Concert Pianist standards? And that is where we come in... One of Tom's friends has broken his wrist and cannot play at a dinner party. Tom steps in and wears his friend's Princeton jacket over the unifrom he wears in his own job (toilet attendant at the opera) and someone asks him if he knows his son. The man (who happens to be a massive shipping magnate) is then fooled by Tom into thinking that he knows his son, and so this rich bloke sends Tom off to bring his son back from Italy, where he is wasting his huge allowance on girls, Jazz music and booze. But you see, Tom isn't the most stable of people. Through the film he falls in love with nearly every other character in his age group (supporting and main) and it all kinda goes Pete Tong when Dickie (Jude Law), the shipping bloke's son, decides that he has grown bored with Tom... Don't get me wrong, TTMR has a very good story, but at times it seems to drag along, and soo
                    n you end up not really caring what happens to the characters. If it were to move along a little faster then this would definitely be a 'must-see' movie. And because it is so slow there is no tension. By the time something happens you have already gone through all the possibilities in your head about what it could be, and so when it does appear it isn't really a shock. But, the story, in places, pull it through. You get to look inside Tom's mind and see the position he is in by means... not exactly outside of his own control, but in a place where he could really have stopped going to. He is in pieces trying to stop his world from falling apart around him and you really want him to suceed. Then something else happens and you just want him to fail. You marvel at his ingenuity and have high hopes again before he reverts back to being annoying again. This is actually quite good, although I make it sound like it wasn't enjoyable, but these changes make you want to see what happens. The it'll get boring and you'll go back to flicking through a magazine. The end of the story is left hanging in such a way that you really wished you had given up at the beginning. It totally lacks closure even though you know there shouldn't really be a sequel. You hope it won't happen, thinking that they should have finished it one way or another, but you realise that it isn't finished enough so that there won't be an excuse for another. Lets hope that if the sequel, 'The VERY Talented Mr. Ripley' perhaps, ever hits our screens it will be a little more up tempo...

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                      19.03.2001 00:42
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                      "The Talented Mr Ripley" should be Required Viewing for Film Students on How to Correctly Develop Characters, Story and Suspense without resorting to Tired Plot Twists or Cheap Thrills. This Leisurely Paced Thriller doesn't waste a second, every Shot, every Gesture, every Line of Dialogue is there to show us something. It really is a Perfect Thriller, by all standards. Each Character is so well developed, I found myself Rooting for Everybody. There wasn't one character that I wanted fare to come to; even Ripley had me felling sorry for him. Matt Damon plays the part of Tom Ripley with such enthusiasm and Seasoned Skills, he proves he is the Naturally Brilliant Actor we Thought he'd be twenty years down the track. He is totally in the character at all times, and so believable it is Scary. He brings every thought and emotion to his face and he never once Over or Underplays Ripley, his Casting was Genius. Gwyneth Paltrow gives the Performance of her Career as Marge, Dickie's Girlfriend. She plays her as Spirited, Happy and Full of Life for the First half, and as Bitter, Untrusting and Aged for the Finale. She Proves herself a real, wonderful actress, with all the Grace and beauty of Grace Kelly. Alot of Critics and Audiences felt that Jude Law stole the show as Dickie Greenleaf, the man of Ripleys Obsession. As far as This Reviewer is Concerned, Matt Damon is the star all the way, though Jude plays a Good Second Fiddle. He Too gives the Performance of his Young Career. PT Anderson favourites Philip Seymour Hoffman and Philip Baker Hall appear in the truly Magnolia... (an Intended Mistake) Magnificent Supporting Cast. They are Both Outshined by Cate Blanchett and Jack Davenport as two people caught in Ripleys Web of Deception. I really fell that had Censorship been less strict in his time, Alfred Hitchcock would have made "Strangers on a Train" more like this Modern Ripley tale. The Homo
                      sexual Undertones would have been brought out of the closet more and the characters more Honest. I can picture the Masters take on this tale. Anthony Perkins as Ripley, Cary Grant as Dickie and (of course) Grace Kelly as Marge. "The Talented Mr Ripley" is a Perfect Thriller. It doesn't cheat the audience in any way, as many modern thrillers do. Performance, Direction, Plot, Sets, Make Up, Music... It's Faultless in Every Field. After all the acclaim I and others have given it, it is Still Underrated.

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                        07.03.2001 07:48
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                        Anthony Minghella's last film - The English Patient (1996) - scooped 9 Oscars and met with rapturous acclaim from all quarters. Just how do you follow that? The answer was with The Talented Mr. Ripley - via connections with Sydney Pollack, whose company had acquired the movie rights to Patricia Highsmith's classic tale of identity and deception. Initially hired to write the screenplay, once onboard he sought to helm the project as well. It's a story which has already been filmed, some 40 years earlier as Plein Soleil (starring French icon Alain Delon). This latest adaptation keeps closer to the tone and content of the book, however. Despite it's picturesque settings throughout Italy, and its extremely photogenic young cast, The Talented Mr. Ripley deals in rather less attractive matters. Beneath the gorgeous surface of both the locales and the main characters' luxuriant existence, there lies an underbelly of festering tension, jealousy, deceit and - ultimately - murder. It takes hold through the faltering motives and actions of Tom Ripley, sent by a wealthy New York Businessman to bring back his wayward son Dickie Greenleaf from his high-living exile in Europe. Subtle twists of fate are then precipitated by the arrivals of key personnel, who threaten the idyllic fantasy the nerdy loner Ripley becomes obsessed with soon after ingratiating himself into Greenleaf's social circle. The recreation of late 1950s Italy is so vivid as to be breathtakingly impressive, Minghella's love of the era's classic Fellini movies such as La Dolce Vita clearly paying dividends, yet at the same time there is an alarming similarity to the aforementioned Plein Soliel. While it's fair to say that by definition the two films are telling the same story in the same locations, Minghella has gone so far as to actually shoot The Talented Mr Ripley in a way which gives it virtually the exact same look and ambience as
                        the 1959 version. Several scenes play like identikit reruns, which while technically admirable can also be rather distracting. On the other hand, this is an altogether more complex and satisfactory piece than its predecessor, providing a deeper insight into the troubled psyche of Ripley. Matt Damon, in the title role, is seldom off-camera - which makes it vital to the film's success that he conveys his dubious charms and flawed psychology. By and large Damon manages this, though more than two solid hours of Ripley's insidious, unsettling and downright creepy presence eventually takes its toll on the film's climactic effectiveness. The opening hour's magnificence only serves to emphasise the film's subsequent shortcomings. Jude Law takes centre-stage as the devilishly handsome Dickie, who is blessed with a natural taste for the good life, and he is suitably captivating. It is he who remains the story's focus throughout, and who quickly becomes the object of Ripley's homo-erotic fascination. Law is perfectly cast as the dashing, ebullient rich boy around whom everything appears to revolve. Meanwhile, the ever-lovely Gwyneth Paltrow adds yet another high-profile performnace to her already bulging CV as Marge, Dickie's glamorous fiancee. She brings her customary grace to the role, and as Minghella himself observes, "it's like Grace Kelly walked straight out of those Hitchcock films into my movie". Paltrow has rarely looked quite so beautiful, and the pairing with Jude Law is central to The Talented Mr Ripley's achievement of creating a realistically desirable scenario for Tom Ripley to be so fatally seduced by. Extra characters not in the original novel have been created, adding further layers to the already intricate plot. Cate Blanchett's slightly daffy American-debutante-on-vacation is essentially a recurring motif that tends to appear at the most inconvenient moments. It'
                        s a device which works surprisingly well, although as with Damon's Ripley - but to a lesser extent of course, her Meredith does have a slightly creepy demeanour at times. Like the other principal additions to the central trio of Ripley, Dickie and Marge (including a brief but crucial appearance from Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Dickie's brash friend Freddie Miles), she has an important part to play in the sequence of events. Once again, English Patient composer Gabriel Yared is on hand to provide another memorably haunting and evocative score. Music is an integral aspect of the film, with the Jazz music so prominent at the time featured to stunning effect - most notably the scene in a San Remo club where Ripley's blossoming infatuation with Dickie (and his lifestyle) really begins to take hold. Speaking of which, it's a telling reflection upon the film industry that in the press interviews and various promotional material, the homosexual element of the story is played down to the point of omission. This is also a curious ploy, since it is actually the main dynamic that underscores the entire movie, running as it does through nearly every scene and dictating the outcome of everybody's individual fate. The restoration of Ripley's sexual orientation as featured in Highsmith's book is the main difference between Minghella's vision and Plein Soleil. As such, it alters the course of the story compared to the one the Delon film depicted, throwing in some clever surprises along the way which sustain the film's impact. Overall, this is high quality film-making on every level. Its weaknesses - Damon's somewhat monotone portrayal of Ripley, Paltrow's unfortunate descent into hackneyed dramatics towards the end, the remarkable visual similarity to Plein Soleil) are balanced out by some inspired casting choices, an intelligent script, and a general sense of artistry befitting a director of Anthony M
                        inghella's track-record and integrity. Indeed, this integrity is one of the most apparent and refreshing things about the various behind-the-scenes material included on a remarkably packed Buena Vista disc. Minghella is a truly decent chap with a keen intellect and wonderful passion for honest, thoughtful and superlative movie-making. His insights and recollections of the project's sometimes painful, often laborious genesis are fascinating and tinged with warm humour. It must be a treat to work with such a figure. The rest of the cast add merely serviceable soundbites, although when they're from the likes of Paltrow, Blanchett, Damon and Law you're always going to be listening regardless. Essentially, their acting does the talking for them, anything they say is ultimately superfluous. There is a wonderful look at the creation of the film's sublime music score and soundtrack, which is above average and captures a vivid sense of what the composer was aiming for - Gabriel Yared is, for my money, the finest composer around in Hollywood. The two music videos are slightly unusual, since they are really more like promotional tools than actual MTV or Top 40 Chart fodder. Matt Damon does a decent version of My Funny Valentine, while Tu Va L'Americano is the show-stopping tune from the San Remo part of the film. Unless you have an incurable aversion to Matt Damon - he is in virtually every single scene of this rather lengthy movie - or else have little interest in the story, this is surely one of the most impressive UK DVDs yet to be released. Supreme.

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                          31.01.2001 02:32
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                          I recently read Patricia Highsmith’s the talented Mr. Ripley, which I really enjoyed. The story is about a man – Tom Ripley, who is sent, by a certain Mr. Geanleaf, to Mongibello, to try and persuade his son his son to come home, as he is currently reluctant to. It’s a gripping novel, which starts off a bit slow, but speeds up after a shockingly swift event, which changes plot flying all over the place. From this point, the story becomes tense, and with superbly written escape. What makes the book so interesting, as well as just the clever, and adventurous story of it, is the unusual, and arguably evil main character of the book. Not merely the character, but subtlety of how horrific his acts actually are, and how you still want the rather likeable character to succeed! After reading the book, I immediately decided to see the film, to compare, just like I compared the book and film of the Beach – (see opinion). I expected to see a few minor changes, but instead I realised that many of the main ideas of the book, about Tom's character were, not included, as his character was changed completely. I suppose his character is best suited as a book, but this meant the general flow of the film had to be changed. This does change it a lot, and in a way spoils the beauty of the book, but its not entirely for the worse, and it doesn’t make it necessarily make it a bad movie. Another difference, was an extra two characters, and an extra relationship, which I thought were slightly pointless, but did make the film mildly more interesting, as they were not included in the book. This also contributed towards the much different ending, an ending on a different note. – With out spoiling the movie for you, the general feeling of the book, and its ending is different. I almost get the impression that makers of the film didn’t understand the deep meaning of the book, or at least didn’t want to present it. The ideas and acts
                          that are included, however, are somewhat exaggerated, and over justified! You probably wont understand that if you do not know the story, but overall, I think the book is fantastic, and the film….is very different, more simple, but ok.

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                            09.12.2000 21:37
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                            Oh my good sweet jesus upon high I have never see a worse movie in my 22 years on this Earth. It sucks big time it last over 2 hours long(a good lenth for an afternoon kip). Bad story, bad acting and Matt Dillion in luminous green y-fronts. Put the children AND the movie away. It is bad. Simply, very, very, very bad. Matt Dillion plays a gay straight guy and is very annoying. Don't waste time and money on this shash.

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                              04.12.2000 01:13
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                              Yesterday for the first time in a while I fancied a lazy night in front of the TV. After looking at the Radio Times I quickly despaired at the state of UK telecommunications and decided to journey on down to Blockbuster. When looking at the shelves laden with Gladiator and the like I'm amazed about how I managed to gaze on the film without being diverted to the latest releases. But the name seemed to ring a bell somewhere, (film 2000, magazine ad?) and so I decided to give it a go. The story begins with our Mr Ripley standing in at a concert looking nothing of the successful young man I was expecting. He leaves the building and is confronted by an elderly gentleman willing to pay him a thousand dollars (before inflation) to have his son persuaded to return home from Italy. Ripley agrees and meets the son (Dicky) on the beach, with his partner. He then slips into company with the couple, adapting Dicky's tastes for jazz, lifestyle and slowly becomes obsessed with the workings of his life. This hopeless case of a man feels his life as a nobody is worth leaving behind and when the circumstances arise he steps into Dicky's shoes and takes his place. The concept of someone taking over another person’s life and environment is something that enormous amounts of people can relate to. After being bored with your own existence and situation don't we all just wish we could become him or her even just for a day? This film examines this situation when it arises in an immersive, disturbing environment. You’re left constantly wondering what's around the corner and a horrible ending (for the viewer at least) keeps you thinking about it long after the credits.

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                                10.11.2000 04:07
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                                Talented? Not a word that can be comfortably used to describe Mr Minghella's efforts either here or in his previous offering The English Patient which at least that could be said to have some visual attractiveness. The Talented Mr Ripley is a bore from start to finish as un uninspiring plot unfolds into an unimaginative ending. The performances are ok given what the actors were supplied to work with but nothing too fantastic and i feel sorry that Matt Damon seems to be accepting these types of films. No doubt this film has/will receive rave reviews amongst the luvvies and the officianados of the film world but for the general public who watch films for their viewing pleasure this film can in no way be recommended. Basically the plot is this: Matt Damon plays Tom Ripley - a man with a talent for impersonating other people, forgery and generally lying through his teeth to get what he wants. He is hired by Jude Law's father to bring him back to England but Ripley becomes emotionally attached to Law and does not do this. After much dull horseplay, they have an argument and Ripley hits Law with an oar and then proceeds to take over his life... This goes on for two and a half very very long hours. You would have to be the most patient creature in the world to sit through this pile of uninspired claptrap. I am not and yet I did because I believed it would get better and then after an hour and a half I believed the end was near because I adn't read the box. I have never been so bored, except for when The Horse Whisperer made its way onto my television screen maybe. PLease do yourself a favour and rent something else rather than this. A yawn from start to finish.

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                              • Product Details

                                "I feel like I've been handed a new life", says Tom Ripley at a crucial turning point of this well-cast, stylishly crafted psychological thriller. And indeed he has, because the devious, impoverished Ripley (played with subtle depth by Matt Damon) has just traded his own identity for that of Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law), the playboy heir to a shipping fortune who has become Ripley's model for a life worth living. Having been sent by Dickie's father to retrieve the errant son from Italy, Ripley has smoothly ingratiated himself with Dickie and his lovely, unsuspecting fiancée, Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow). In due course, the sheer evil of Ripley's amoral scheme will be revealed.Superbly adapted from the acclaimed novel by Patricia Highsmith (also the basis of the acclaimed French version, Purple Noon), The Talented Mr Ripley is writer-director Anthony Minghella's impressive follow-up to his Oscar-winning triumph The English Patient. Recreating late-1950s Italy in exacting detail, the film captures the sensuousness of la dolce vita while developing the fracturing of Ripley's mind as his crimes grow increasingly desperate. And where Hitchcock was necessarily discreet with the homosexual subtext of Highsmith's Strangers on a Train, Minghella brings it out of the closet, increasing the dramatic tension and complexity of Ripley's psychological breakdown. Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Cate Blanchett are excellent in pivotal supporting roles, and the film's final image is utterly effective: Ripley's talents have gone too far, and this study of class distinction, obsession and deadly desire reaches a disturbing yet richly appropriate conclusion. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com