Ted Kramer's wife leaves her husband, allowing for a lost bond to be rediscovered between Ted and his son, Billy. But a heated custody battle ensues over the divorced couple's son, deepening the wounds left by the separation.
October 1944 in war torn Italy. Hana, a French-Canadian nurse working in a mobile army medical unit, feels like everything she loves in life dies on her. Because of the difficulty traveling and the dangers, especially as the landscape is still heavily booby-trapped with mines, Hana volunteers to stay behind at a church to care solely for a dying semi-amnesiac patient, who is badly burned and disfigured. She agrees to catch up to the rest of the unit after he dies. All the patient remembers is that he is English and that he is married. Their solitude is disrupted with the arrival at the church of fellow Canadian David Caravaggio, part of the Intelligence Service, who is certain that he knows the patient as a man who cooperated with the Germans. Caravaggio believes that the patient's memory is largely in tact and that he is running away from his past, in part or in its entirety. The patient does open up about his past, all surrounding his work as a cartographer in North Africa, which ... Written by
While there is the suggestion that the mysterious English patient has been shot down and fallen from the sky at the start of the film, there is a more explicit scene at the end of the film that was cut, depicting Almasy slowly falling to earth, dangling from a pure white parachute shown against a clear blue sky, the upper part of his body engulfed in flames ("The heart is an organ of fire" is a quote from the film). The scene is mentioned on the Saul Zaentz Co. website: "Blue screen work that involved the opening and the closing scenes of the film, in which the unnamed pilot and a lifeless woman are shot out of the sky and fall to earth, were completed on the main sound stage at Cinecitta, and production wrapped on January 31, 1996." The scene was shown on a CBC broadcast of an interview with Anthony Minghella but never appeared in the final cut of the ending of the film. See more »
Major Muller is wearing the rank insignia of SS-Standartenfuehrer, which is equivalent to full colonel. See more »
Disclaimer in end credits: "While a number of the characters who appear in this film are based on historical figures, and while many of the areas described - such as the Cave of Swimmers and its surrounding desert - exist and were explored in the 1930s, it is important to stress that this story is a fiction and that the portraits of the characters who appear in it are fictional, as are some of the events and journeys." See more »
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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