The Talented Mr. Ripley

"OK"

The Talented Mr. Ripley Review


While "The Talented Mr. Ripley" may not quitequalify as a masterpiece of suspense, it certainly is the most skilled,engrossing homage to Alfred Hitchcock in ages.

Directed by Oscar winner Anthony Minghella ("The English Patient") with many nods to themaster of subtle, upscale thrillers, this picture boasts gorgeous, Italian seaside locations; layers of romantic Machiavellian intrigue; honest-to-goodnesssurprises that unfold before your eyes; a goose-pimply, Bernard Herrman-inspiredscore (by "Patient" composer Gabriel Yared); and a glamorous,talented cast that could give Hitchcock's favorite players a run for their money.

Jude Law ("eXistenZ,""Gattaca")plays Dickie Greenleaf, a handsome, trust fund playboy, living large onfather's dime in an idyllic coastal village.

Gwyneth Paltrow (today's Grace Kelly) is Marge Sherwood,his beautiful, expatriate girlfriend.

And Matt Damon gets to stretch his acting muscles as TomRipley, a wildly deceptive hanger-on who conspires with psychopathic determinationto insert himself into Dickie's life, and discard forever his working classbackground.

Of course, as with any good Everyman suspense story, itbegins with a stroke of chance: Back in Boston, Tom is mistaken for a Princetonalumni by Dickie's blue-blooded father (James Rebhorn), an error he quicklyexploits when the father offers him a all-expenses-paid trip to Italy,where Tom is to persuade Dickie (also a Princeton man) to come home.

Once in Italy, Tom befriends Dickie and Marge, but -- asthe audience begins to slowly realize -- Ripley is not the kind of heroicEveryman who finds himself in over his head in such movies. He's obsessedwith infiltrating every corner of Dickie's existence.

It's an obsession that soon becomes a twisted kind of unrequitedlove affair with deadly consequences when Dickie gets bored with Tom'scompany and tosses him aside.

This is the most shaded performance of Damon's career,full of enigma and subtle revelations that come to haunt the other charactersas Tom spins a precarious web of deceit after Dickie disappears, then beginsto assume his life -- which is really all Tom craved in the first place.

But Dickie's boorish pal Freddie Miles (Philip SeymourHoffman) isn't buying the cover story. He's never trusted the sycophantTom in the first place, and it's not long before Marge becomes suspiciousas well.

Then there's the beautiful socialite Meredith Logue (CateBlanchett) -- a girl Tom has convinced he is Dickie -- who becomesa threat to his escalating deception, leading him toward even more drasticmeasures as he resolves to hang on to his newfound existence.

Minghella's doesn't have quite a firm enough grip on hiscommand of the suspense in "Ripley," so the movie never completelyengages the audience's adrenaline. There's also a few times you may findyourself second guessing Tom Ripley when he fails to take the path of leastresistance as he covers his tracks. But Minghella spins a captivating yarnnonetheless, so you'll still be more than willing to go along for the ride.

The director adapted the script from the 1955 novel byPatricia Highsmith -- whose "Strangers On a Train" became oneof Hitchcock's most disquieting classics. He has embellished a bit (forexample, the homosexual undertones are far more amplified than they werein the book), but he wisely still staged the story in the late 1950s, allowinghim to develop an even more acute Hitchcockian atmosphere, infuse the filmwith a dollop of delicious jazz music, and put Paltrow and Blanchett insome stunning dresses.

There's been a lot of Academy Award buzz for "TheTalented Mr. Ripley." I don't think I'd rank it in the Oscar-calibercategory, but taken for what it is -- an attempt to revive the spirit ofTechnicolor Hitchcockian noir -- it's aces.

By the way, if you're the compare-and-contrast type, youmight want to note that Highsmith's novel was filmed once before in 1960as "Purple Noon."



The Talented Mr. Ripley

Facts and Figures

Run time: 139 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 25th December 1999

Box Office Worldwide: $128.8M

Budget: $40M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Miramax Films, Paramount Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Fresh: 106 Rotten: 22

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Tom Ripley, as Marge Sherwood, as Dickie Greenleaf, as Meredith Logue, as Freddie Miles, as Peter Smith-Kingsley, as Herbert Greenleaf, as Inspector Roverini, as Alvin MacCarron, as Aunt Joan, Fiorello as Fausto, as Silvana, as Colonnello Verrecchia, Anna Longhi as Signora Buffi, Alessandro Fabrizi as Sergeant Baggio, as Emily Greenleaf, Gretchen Egolf as Fran, Jack Willis as Greenleaf Chaffeur, Frederick Alexander Bosche as Fran's Boyfriend, Dario Bergesio as Police Officer, Larry Kaplan as Uncle Ted, Claire Hardwick as Gucci Assistant, Antonio Prester as American Express Clerk (as Nino Prester), Lorenzo Mancuso as Bus Driver, Onofrio Mancuso as Priest, Massimo Reale as Immigration Officer, Emanuele Carucci Viterbi as American Express Clerk, as Dahlia (as Caterina De Regibus), Silvana Bosi as Ermelinda, Gianfranco Barra as Desk Manager Aldo, as Tailor, Deirdre Lovejoy as Fighting Neighbor, as Fighting Neighbor, Guy Barker as Trumpet (Napoli Jazz Septet), Bernardo Sassetti as Piano (Napoli Jazz Septet), Perico Sambeat as Alto Sax (Napoli Jazz Septet), Gene Calderazzo as Drums (Napoli Jazz Septet) mer, Joseph Lepore as Double Bass (Napoli Jazz Septet), Rosario Giuliuni as Tenor Sax (Napoli Jazz Septet), Eddy Palerno as Electric Guitar (Napoli Jazz Septet), Byron Wallen as Cornet (San Remo Jazz Sextet), Pete King as Alto Sax (San Remo Jazz Sextet), Clark Tracey as Drums (San Remo Jazz Sextet), Jean Toussaint as Tenor Sax (San Remo Jazz Sextet), Geoff Gascoyne as Bass (San Remo Jazz Sextet), Carlo Negroni as Piano (San Remo Jazz Sextet), Beppe Fiorello as Silvana's Fiancé, Marco Quaglia as Silvana's Brother, Alessandra Vanzi as Silvana's Mother, Marco Rossi as Photographer, Roberto Valentini as Onegin (Eugene Onegin Player), Francesco Bovino as Lensky (Eugene Onegin Player), Stefano Canettieri as Zaretsky (Eugene Onegin Player), Marco Foti as Guillot (Eugene Onegin Player), Ludovica Tinghi as Fausto's Fiancée, Nicola Pannelli as Dinelli's Cafe Waiter, Paolo Calabresi as Customs Officer, Pietro Ragusa as Record Store Owner, Simone Empler as Boy Singer, Gianluca Secci as Policeman, Manuel Ruffini as Policeman, Pierpaolo Lovino as Policeman, Roberto Di Palma as San Remo Hotel Desk Clerk


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Movie Review

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Movie Review

Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie brings a dark and gritty tone to this larger-than-life franchise. Along with...

Beyond the Reach Movie Review

Beyond the Reach Movie Review

With a spectacular setting and two solid actors on-screen, this thriller builds enough solid suspense...

Cub Movie Review

Cub Movie Review

At a time when horror movies seem to only want to make the audience jump,...

Inside Out Movie Review

Inside Out Movie Review

Those bright sparks at Pixar have done it again, taking a fiercely original approach to...

Advertisement
Southpaw Movie Review

Southpaw Movie Review

Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's...

Eden Movie Review

Eden Movie Review

Loose and impressionistic, this beautifully shot film traces the career of a DJ who pioneered...

The Gallows Movie Review

The Gallows Movie Review

Without a single moment of originality, this found-footage horror movie really deserves to be the...

Self/Less Movie Review

Self/Less Movie Review

An intriguing premise keeps the audience gripped for about 20 minutes before the movie runs...

Advertisement