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The Talented Mr. Ripley
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The Talented Mr. Ripley More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Did we see the same movie??

Author: Stu-42 ( from Las Vegas
16 August 2000

I looked at the rating of over 7 and I had to ask "What movie were these people watching?" Almost all the comments were positive with some of them stating that the last third went a little downhill. I thought that first 2 thirds were uncomfortably bad and the last part actually better, albeit not that much. Yes, pacing was a problem and acting too! Matt Damon was woefully out of place and I had no idea what the point of this movie was. Mediocre would be a kind description for this bland waste of time. I guess they can't all be good!!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly intense and enthralling thriller; RIPLEY is satisfying!

Author: Ian Harrison from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
30 July 2000

I sincerely hesitated before renting THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY this past weekend. I had heard rumors from others who were dissatisfied with this film, unhappy with their reaction to Anthony Minghella's follow-up to his majorly successful "The English Patient." Just the fact that Minghella directed it made me quiver. "English Patient" has to be one of my most hated films for which much praise was received. However, something compelled me to pick it up. Maybe Minghella deserved another chance in my books. This time, he was using marquee actors of a more popular nature, rather than artsy-type thespians like Kristin Scott Thomas and Juliette Binoche. The moment I popped the DVD in and viewed this picture, I was hooked and enthralled. "The Talented Mr. Riply" uses just the right amount of artistry and goes thick on plot and method acting to create a thriller which the great Hitchcock would have been proud of.

I must admit the previews made me take interest in this film before I considered looking at it. The plot seemd so fascinating, and it surely is. I'll only mention the minute details of it so as not to spoil anything for those who have not seen it, and also so I don't screw up some of the descriptions. Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) is a bland, ordinary individual who longs to become someone else other than the nobody who is himself. He gets that opportunity when a man named Greenleaf (James Rebhorn) offers him $1,000 to retrieve his son from Europe, whom he suspects is frittering his money and his life away. Ripley takes on the assignment, and surprisingly, as soon as he meets up with Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law), he immediately tells him his intentions and quickly becomes his best buddy. His girlfriend, Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow) is also very impressed with their new acquaintance. Little do they know that Tom Ripley's main "talent" is impersonating people around him, taking on their identities and making them his own. Dickie's will be his first one to capture.

I mentioned that Sir Alfred would have been pleased to see this film if he were alive today, and while I was watching "Ripley," I couldn't help but be amazed by the technical and narrative similarities to Hitch's archetypes, which today are endlessly duplicated. I found it riveting how the plot and the director focus in on the scheming of Ripley, allowing the audience to be swept up in his improvisation and daring manner of always running under the knife. I don't know if the DVD technology is a considerable enhancement here, but Minghella's direction also takes on a life of its own. The purposeful shading and camera angles take on almost a voyeuristic quality, as if we the viewer are objectively but holistically involved in Ripley's feats of derring-do. The cinematography is fancy, but not overly distracting. Its viewpoint is always set on the characters and how they relate with each other.

The performances are carefully choreographed but consistently drawn to look natural and of-the-moment. Such aspects are especially important in the case of Matt Damon, who takes the character of Tom Ripley and subtly makes him look pathetic but endlessly interesting to watch. Jude Law plays such a three-dimensional character here that his might be the most difficult one to play among the key players. Dickie Greenleaf (the real one) must be outgoing and friendly but also cold and disheartening. We may be repelled by him, but his fate never seems warranted, even during his most tragic hour. Gwyneth is beautiful as always, but also finds the right note for a woman who is unrightfully left behind and deceived by both these leading men. Cate Blanchett also has a small and thankless role as an innocent European traveller who happens upon this happy throng, totally unaware of the deception and indecency that is going on. She was probably my favorite character of them all, a symbol that Hitchcock created many years before.

When critics and film fans remarked that the end of 1999 saw some of the best films in a blue moon hit theaters, I am inclined to believe them. Along with other favorites of mine like "The Green Mile" and "American Beauty," I would vote for "The Talented Mr. Ripley" as one of the best films of the year. It is smart, visually and narratively creative, and on a whole, a truly satisfying entertainment. For thinking viewers, it is a special treat. For casual moviegoers, I believe there is still much to behold in this film, even if you are not one who is used to letting movies soak into your system. Minghella takes his time unwinding this ingenious tale, but the unfolding of the plot and the eventual pay-off is a chilling and fulfilling movie experience. Rating: Four stars

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

one of the best movies of the year

Author: Yuval Schonfeld from Maastricht, Holland
6 July 2000

The Talented Mr.Ripley is a wonderful film,wonderfully directed by Anthony Minghella. Minghella shows again that he is a brilliant director. He can create a really fantastic atmosphere,like he did here. The Italy of the 50's was splendid.The images of Venice,Rome and all the other locations in Italy were one of the most beautiful filmed locations I ever saw on the silver screen. The music in this picture was also wonderful. But most important in a film are the performances by the actors, and they were also great. Matt Damon played Tom Ripley in a very good way,as a poor pathethic guy who is ready to do everything to become like Dickie Greenleaf(excellent performed by Jude Law). Jude Law was great as the rich playboy Dickie and also the supporting roles were brilliant performed by Gwyneth Paltrow,Philip Seymour-Hoffman and Cate Blanchett.

My conclusion is that "The Talented Mr.Ripley" is together with "American Beauty" the best movie of last year,and I really don't know why Ripley didn't get any Academy Awards. The film really deserved it.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not a bad movie at all, but close to be one...

Author: Thomas Moesgaard-Christensen from Copenhagen, Denmark
3 May 2000

This film is highly overrated when it comes to the plot, the characters, the setting and the location.

The fault is not the actors though. It is undoubtly Anthony Minghella's - he, who also directed the true stinker "The English Patient". Once again his love for the pittoresque Italy gives us a bizarre environment - showing us this pretty European country that gets so pretty it is grotesque.

Whenever Dickie or Tom or Marge or ANYONE passes the streets of Rome or Mongibello, there is either some nuns, a priest or a woman selling water melons! The Italy of it simply gets too Italian! And the characters dances as stars around in this poor, under developped but charming little country.

When it comes to the characters and the plot, it is evidently that Minghella has destroyed Patricia Highsmith's novel, which is quite allright. We never get to believe in Tom Ripley as a person, since he in Minghellas film simply gets too good at doing what he does. The foolishness peaks when the American detective Macmarron cannot see through his obvious lies. It is a shame for Matt Damon, who basically is being foolish in this film and never giving us an opportunity to see what he can do.

Dickie Greenleaf is actually the true hero of this film. I wish he had been killing Tom instead and so we could have been seeing some more of the talented Jude Law.

Gwyneth Paltrow's Marge is simply unbelieveable. People like her does not exist. And Gwyneth tries to save this poor fact by playing herself. So - Gwyneth is Gwyneth.

Cate Blanchett of course get a lot out of being Meredith - a blindfolded poor girl. I guess this film shows who really should have been given the Best Actress Oscar of '99....

Anthony Minghella means kitsch. As he is pouring people, things and Italy together in the way too beautiful pictures, he destroys finally this film. It is really a shame.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

One of the best films of 1999!

Author: dkcats
9 April 2000

The film is fascinating and completely pulls you in. Matt Damon's performance in this dark, psychologically intense thriller is flawless. I am very disappointed and amazed that such an incredible film and all the work that had been put into making it were completely disregarded by the Academy. I expected Ripley to be up there with American Beauty...

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

"It's better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody."

Author: juneebuggy from Canada
1 October 2014

Excellent movie wherein Italy, the 1950's and jazz almost become their own characters. Top notch cast and intriguing storyline. Here Matt Damon plays Tom Ripley, a charming mimic and social-climbing psychopath, who is sent to Italy to return a wealthy playboy (Jude Law) home to his father. Tom slowly becomes obsessed with the lifestyle and his new friend however and events take a deadly turn on a nice calm day out in a rowboat.

Every time I see this movie Matt Damon's acting skills impress me more (as does that neon green speedo.) I also always notice some new clue that I'd missed. Should mention (although its obvious) how great Phillip Seymour Hoffman is. Brilliant movie 11.13(3)

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Acting is SUPERB and the story HIGHLY INTERESTING!

Author: vlevensonnd-1 from United States
17 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Pros to this movie: Excellent Actors/Actresses; Excellent acting; Very interesting story; Suspenseful; and Engaging.

The Cons to this movie: It's a bleak testament of human weakness and desperation that grew into extremes, which life is like, unfortunately, far too many times.

Some people thought the story was way too far fetched to be realistic. I disagree. I've seen these things, and I've also learned of numerous stories throughout human history that were even more extreme - and true.

Human nature is not always a beautiful thing. People can be among several people on a regular basis and have an adequate number of friends, yet still feel completely alone and isolated within their minds. The fear of loneliness, of an inadequate life, of not being accepted or truly loved can plague such a high percentage of people. All of us can experience those things at one time or another in life, yet there are those that are consistently and literally tormented with those fears.

This is a story of a such a man, who was given a very tempting offer, where an alternate opportunity of evil presented itself. He could have done the right thing to assist a father, as well as to positively influence that father's son in doing the right thing, yet, due to the character not tending to his mental/psychological ills, he choose that alternate opportunity, which lead to his, and to other's demise.

The story is completely believable. All we have to do is pick up the newspaper to realize that these kinds of things go on all around us, all over the world. And THAT is what makes this story so unsettling and frightening.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

My Favorite Movie Of All Time: everything fits together just right.

Author: Panterken from Belgium
18 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's too bad Patricia Highsmith will never be able to see Minghella's masterful adaptation of her novel. The Talented Mr. Ripley is easily Minghella's best film (yes, it's better than The English Patient) but sadly, has been under-appreciated for a long time. I hope the film will go into film history as a one of a kind psychological thriller, that's so haunting that it leaves a deep impression on all who watch it with an open mind.

Besides the great screenplay, which I actually like better than the story in the novel, the film offers a great acting ensemble. You can see the actors lifting each other's performance, they really try to exceed each other. Although not every performance is Oscar-worthy, there isn't one member of the cast who delivers a mediocre one. I was especially surprised by Kate Blanchett's performance, who I honestly never considered to be a good actress even though the critics claim otherwise. She does however deliver a great performance in TTMR, she's more than excellent. The supporting cast does a great job as well: Gwyneth Paltrow is great as Marge Sherwood (though a little miscast) and Phillip Seymour Hoffman is unbelievably annoying as Freddie ( which is a good thing). Jack Davenport delivers a solid serene performance as Peter-Smith Kingsley. He convinces his audience, which is the most important thing. The role doesn't offer a whole lot to work with but he does a good job. Now, as good as the supporting cast was, none of them can hold a candle against the two male leads: Matt Damon simply becomes Tom Ripley and Jude Law is incredible in the role that seems to be made for him ( or is that merely Mr. Law's achievement that makes us perceive it like that?). Though Jude Law was the only actor who was nominated for an Academy Award, I feel Matt Damon really was the one who deserved the Oscar. It's still his best role to date and I don't think he'll ever be able to top it. His performance, subtle when needed and intense when needed, is really memorable. It's hard to describe just why I was so impressed with him.

Good casting and acting alone doesn't make a masterpiece. Everything has to fit together perfectly. I'm happy to say that it actually does. The score is still my favorite to date. Even though I'm not a big jazz fan, I love it to death. The Academy Award nomination is 100% justified (of course Jared should have gotten it but I'm already glad he's at least been nominated). Especially the opening song is hauntingly beautiful. The locations chosen are gorgeous and go together great with the music. Minghella's shows us the Italy of our dreams, the picturesque village that wins everyone's heart, the Rome that speaks to our imagination...

What really adds something to the movie is the perfect ending. I can't bear to imagine it would end any other fits just right. Tragic, haunting, deeply shocking, deliciously evil,...

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A great film, has the same effect on me every time I watch it

Author: paulmamak from United Kingdom
10 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

To date this film has proved Matt Damon's acting ability, the film would not have been what it is without his involvement. It proves that not only can he play a innocent light hearted character, but within a second he can pull a complete 180 and portray a dark unemotional character. Jude Law also played his role well as the spoilt playboy that he is with an acting performance that I feel has been his best so far. The involvement of Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett's characters brought more emotion to the film as the plot thickens, which gave the film a little more edge. Philip Seymour Hoffman does well at also playing the cocky rich boy character, which, lets face it, is pulled off best by him.

What also made the film is the overall cinematography as the locations that most of the scenes were shot were absolutely breathtaking. Such as Rome and Venice.

The overall plot was outstanding with it becoming more and more darker as the film progresses. Scenes that particularly deserve credit are the suicide scene of the Italian girl, the murder of Dicky Greenleaf, the Opera and the meeting at the Roman café. These scenes emphasise Anthony Minghella's directing capabilities.

Overall, Anthony Minghella's work on this film deserves praise.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Must Watch

Author: aeon_flux from USA
7 March 2006

Just like someone else commented, I found myself looking for movies to watch and selected this movie out of simple curiosity. As a matter of fact I had decided to return it unwatched but after checking a few reviews I changed my mind and decided to give it a try. Boy was I in for a big surprise! I will not tire you with comments about the characters or the plot but I will say this: Near the end I couldn't tear my eyes away and at the same had the strongest urge to hit the stop button so I wouldn't watch it anymore. It was so twisted I would sometimes feel empathy for Matt Damon's character and sometimes disgust at myself for feeling sorry for him.

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