THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY again, almost fifteen years after its initial release, turns out to be a major pleasure, for reasons both expected and not so. Having just recently seen once again, Purple Noon, the original film adapted from the Patricia Highsmith novel, and then coming upon the version written and directed by the late Anthony Minghella, suddenly available via Netflix streaming, a chance to view this film again proved irresistible. And worth every one of its 139 minutes.
Cate Blanchett (below) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (two photos below) for major support, plus a roster of terrific actors, American and Italian, in the more minor roles. As good and as groundbreaking as was Purple Noon in its day (1960), this later version of the novel was able to do much more with the Highsmith property, thanks to the change in mores and movie "morals" over the 40-year span between the two. Minghella also allows much more psychology and character(s) into the mix, broadening and deepening the story.
Truly Madly Deeply, and the award-winning The English Patient, which garnered the filmmaker his Oscar (along with eight others).
Nine, anyone? Didn't think so. Anyway, he wasn't responsible for the ham-fisted direction but only co-wrote the screenplay for that second-rate musical) and he did a few films that were good but not great. Yet imagine what he might have given us had he lived another couple of decades.
Netflix and is also available elsewhere and on DVD and Blu-ray. (And that's Mr. Minghella, at work, below.)