Beginning in the 1930's, "The English Patient" tells the story of Count Almásy who is a Hungarian map maker employed by the Royal Geographical Society to chart the vast expanses of the Sahara Desert along with several other prominent explorers. As World War II unfolds, Almásy enters into a world of love, betrayal, and politics that is later revealed in a series of flashbacks while Almásy is on his death bed after being horribly burned in a plane crash. Written by
Anthony Hughes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of the greatest achievements in all of cinema, peerlessly beautiful
Count Laszlo (Ralph Fiennes) has just been transferred to a hospital in Italy during World War II. He is horrifically burned from an ambush. His nurse Hana (Juliette Binoche) tends to him, body and mind, for she fears, quite rightly, that he may be a very troubled soul. In the course of his care, the Count starts to tell Hana of his recent past. It seems he worked in a government capacity in Africa, where he met a beautiful married lady named Katherine (Kristin Scott Thomas). Although they tried to avoid each other, they fell in love. After a brief affair, Katherine called it quits, leaving the Count desolate. Even so, the two would meet again, under heart-wrenching circumstances. Meanwhile, Hana herself falls for a Sihk man in the British bomb squad. Yet, the war is raging relentlessly. Can love exist when the world is in turmoil? This is a tremendous film, based on an equally fine but complex novel. The plot has many story lines that are woven together beautifully, each of them poignant beyond description. The script itself is elegant and contains many memorable lines. Fiennes is magnificent, both as the burn victim and as the man who thought love was a myth. Scott Thomas is also quite fine as the woman who fights against her passions. As for Binoche, she richly deserved the Oscar that she was presented, as her nurse is a shining example of hope in a hopeless situation. The scenery is utterly gorgeous, as are the costumes, the direction, and the production. If you have missed out on viewing this film, rectify that soon, very soon. The English Patient will remain one of the greatest achievements in film for centuries to come.
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