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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Based on the 1955 novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith, the
first in the Ripley series or "Ripliad". Damon plays the titular
character, who is a master imposter that takes full advantage of the
random opportunities that cross his path, and makes full use of
people's willingness to assume they're always being told the truth.
After playing a gig as a substitute pianist at a cocktail party in New
York City, Ripley accepts a generous offer from Herbert Greenleaf
(Rebhorn) to go to Italy to track down his son Dickie (Law), who is
having the time of his life against his father's approval. When things
falls into place for Ripley to scheme his way to the easy life, he
finds himself fitting right in with Dickie; but when things start to
fall apart, blood is shed. For the viewer seeking a conventional plot
structure, the movie does have its slow moments; but others will
appreciate the psychological unfolding of the story, with the viewer
rooting that the villain gets away with it, while also getting swept up
in Law's toxic charm just like the regretful characters. Beautiful
settings as well.
***½ (out of four)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Matt Damon did a great job, as usual. It was kind of weird, based on a
novel written by a woman, about how Damon's character, with no power,
had to make himself interesting and compelling to a man, so that the
man would then admit him to his fabulous lifestyle, though still always
subject to being discarded on a day by day basis. To complete the "what
if a man had to be a stereotypical woman" premise, Damon's character
seems increasingly gay for the rich playboy.
Of course it all goes horribly badly, since naturally a man in that position would turn to murder. As a man, I protest! In fact, I could never have been so clever as the protagonist. Even so, the first half of the movie is unusual, idyllic, suspenseful, with a sense of doom.
The second half is Damon's character trying to pass himself off as the playboy. It's plainly doomed and insane, but he just keeps plausibly getting away with it. Lots of suspense, but less and less plausible. My wife figured they should have stopped with the first half. Is this supposed to be an allegory for a woman surviving in a man's world? Maybe so, the novel is from 1955. And of course, he has to give up on love, even betray his lover.
Hmm, was somebody a little bitter?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Anthony Minghella, director and screenplay writer of the English
Patient and Cold Mountain in addition to this film, open The Talented
Mr. Ripley with a bang. It starts off with such promise and is
intriguing. The photography in this film is excellent and the acting is
superb. Minghella certainly knows how to get the most out of his given
crop of talent. The great thing about the direction of this film is
that it holds up extremely well. It is not hard to get through but the
story itself will leave your skin crawling which is another testament
to how well each actor performs right down to the most minor of
The Talented Mr. Ripley is a mix between Catch Me If You Can and Psycho. Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) seems like a normal kid who catches a break while wearing a jacket that does not belong to him. Herbert Greenleaf (James Rebhorn) offers to pay Tom to bring his son back from Europe. The amount of money offered to Tom seems like it might be more than Tom has seen in his entire life. Wearing that jacket is what starts Tom on this journey to try and be someone more interesting than himself. He is a deeply troubled character with little to no self worth. He loves everyone he meets more than himself and never wants to leave their sides. Tom eventually meets Herbert Greenleaf's son, Dickie (Jude Law). Tom, Dickie and Dickie's fiancé Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow) eventually become extremely close friends. Tom uses his talents of impersonation and desire to become anyone but himself to stay with Dickie for as long as possible. They string Herbert Greenleaf along and have him continue to funnel money to the two of them for as long as possible. Dickie eventually begins to tire of being around Tom and begins to make a new friend, Freddie Miles (Philip Seymour Hoffman). This is about the time where the movie takes a bit of a turn. The events up to this point all trigger a downward spiral as this movie begins to tear down each character and the relationships developed. The unraveling of Tom Ripley is quite substantial. Once Tom's first layer is gone, he replaces it with a layer not of his own until almost every part of Tom Ripley is gone with the exception of the cold and dark core that he cannot let anyone into.
The Talented Mr. Ripley is an excellent movie that I feel I can only watch once because it becomes very tough to get through. Anthony Minghella does a great job in putting you in the world of Tom Ripley but in doing so makes the viewing experience quite dark in certain spots. Tom is a mold waiting to be shaped into those around him and as he gathers information about other characters Anthony Minghella is painting a wonderful picture of every character in the film. Each character is extremely complex and this film would not be the same without every one of those pieces. This character study is one of the best ones as each character brings something different. Tom wants to be anyone but himself and will stop at nothing to achieve that goal and keep his idols around him. Dickie is a self centered rich kid who uses everyone he meets including his fiancé. Speaking of her, Marge wants nothing more than to have Dickie love her unconditionally. She fears that he will use her and toss her aside which may not be far from the truth. Freddie is probably the biggest wild card among the group as you don't get to learn much about Freddie other than he is on par with Dickie in terms of social status and he steals the show whenever he is on screen. Much of that might just be attributed to Philip Seymour Hoffman's incredible acting as he seems to trump everything around him whenever he is on screen.
I would suggest that everyone see this movie at least once for the acting alone as it almost appears as if Minghella would not quit until every take was excellent. Tom Ripley will leave your skin crawling for days.
A great example of how movie can be interesting and can involve you and
leave you thinking without any special effects, without great script or
plot... Lets face it, this movies doesn't have great script, it doesn't
have great plot either. Movie plot is interesting and definitely can
involve you, yet it is not a breathtaking story with many twists and
turns. But there is one thing that makes this movie great, and it is
acting. Because of acting this movie is breathtaking an involving and
represents one great experience and one hell of a ride.
Each character is important, each character is there for a reason and can't be left out. The way Matt Damon carried out his role made me speechless, his acting is superb, at times you can relate to him and feel sorry for poor underachiever Tom Ripley, but then, just moment later he gives you chills and scares you as hell. He's a beauty and a beast in one. And it's not only because of his role, in fact it's mostly because of the way he carried out his role. Jude Law gave the performance without a flaw. Moreover his acting is perfect. He embodied young playboy and adventurer so good that we all could feel what is like to be Dickie Greenleaf even for a moment, singing and drinking in jazz club in Naples or sun tanning and picking up girls on the sand beaches of Mongibello. Other actors were superb too, maybe only Gwyneth Paltrow had some, not bad, but less good moments in movie, but all in all it is a flawless acting.
To sum up all characters were played by perfect actors for that role, and when that happens movie can't be bad, indeed, it will probably be as great as this one.
There aren't many movies which made me relate to every one of the main characters, good or bad, and for that I give this movie 8 out of 10. To be a 9 or a perfect 10 any movie should have something in addition to perfect acting, such things as extraordinary special effects, mind blowing twists or exceptional plot. In lack of those i give "Talented Mr. Ripley" a "perfect" 8.
I have been fascinated by this truly talented movie since I first saw
it some years ago. This is the only film which I saw at least 20 times.
Every time I watch it I seem to myself simply to be dissolved in it. I
feel as if I were an invisible film participant who constantly
accompanies the characters......
Tom Ripley, the main character of the movie, is an unwanted, poor lad who early understood that it was actually impossible to succeed in life without protection and support. I could sympathize with him. When Tom gets an opportunity to change his life and happens to know the happiness of that glorious world his bad instincts fail him.
I don't identify myself with Tom. I could be Peter though. I think Jack Davenport played one of his best roles. The homosexual tendencies of the characters don't scare me and I don't focus on them.
The characters of the movie are making their way in the world - that's what we all do - and how they do it attracts our attention.
The cast is splendid. It's like a precious brooch - twinkling scattered diamonds and emeralds - every stone in itself is of some importance and is strongly attracted by others.
It is a beautiful film. Elegant, dramatic, fascinating, mysterious, exciting...... I really enjoyed every scene. I also liked the fine music so tastefully arranged by the authors of the movie - it fascinated me from the very beginning.
In my eyes this film is perfect.
After seeing this film, I have only one complaint, why didn't it feature in the Oscars?
This film's a brilliant example of Film Noir. The screenplay and direction are impeccable, and there are flawless performances from the cast. The locales in Italy are visually stunning. Even the peek into the darkness of the human mind is effectively achieved. There are some crisp one-liners, and good dialogue in many places.
To sum up, I cannot agree with any of the critics of this film. I loved it the first time, and am looking forward to seeing it again.
Who is Tom Ripley, the personage of the film's title? That's really the
central premise of "The Talented Mr. Ripley", and it's a good question. The
film is a period piece set amongst the moneyed few of 1950s America. Ripley,
as played by Matt Damon, is a human chameleon, adept at impersonating
others, down to the matching signatures. His criminal career starts during a
wealthy New York party where Tom is playing piano as part of the paid
entertainment. He's wearing a borrowed Princeton University blazer, the alma
matter of the host's wayward son, and is mistaken for one of the son's
friends. Ripley slips quickly and easily into his first deception, that of
the son's best friend at college. Subsequently the father hires Tom to go to
Italy, where the son is slumming with his girlfriend, and bring him back to
Once in Italy, Tom ingratiates himself into the company of the son, Dickie Greenleaf, (Jude Law), girlfriend Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow), and their assortment of young wealthy sybarites. As the impersonations become more complex, the possibilities for exposure escalate, and the measures needed to keep the charade rolling take a deadly turn.
Matt Damon goes out on a limb portraying Tom Ripley, as the movie is essentially a character study of this complex person. He pulls it off, and Anthony Minghella, the director, gets excellent acting support from Law, Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Other aspects of the movie also work very well, not the least the on-site Italian locations, and the 1950s sets. This is not a mystery, nor a romance; it's something different and difficult to categorize, and is highly recommended.
My summary derives from the fact that I HATED "The English Patient". For
a movie that won so many Oscars, the only things that saved Minghella's
earlier effort from being a complete dud in my eyes were the production
design and the performances. (That should save you from having to read the
review I'm writing next... :-) ) "The Talented Mr Ripley" shares the scant
virtues of "The English Patient", but has a whole lot more qualities besides
with which to pique your interest.
It's another 'long' film like "EP", but the script seems a whole lot tighter, and each and every one of the supporting characters MATTER in "Ripley", even the part played by Cate Blanchett, who really isn't on screen for very long at all. It feels like it has something to say about the darker elements of the human condition, rather than coming off like a bloated "Milk Tray" advert, a la "EP". Oh, and it leaves you thinking at the end, as opposed to asleep... !
Seriously, seek this out if you haven't already, and get a taste of just HOW talented Minghella is when he gets hold of material with some 'snap' in it... Didn't mean to turn this review into an attack on another film, but they really are polar opposites; and it galls me that the director got so much acclaim for one, and yet not enough for this...
The film has a spooky atmosphere throughout. Although I agree that Matt Damon gives one of his best performances, I am not too fond of his character. To assume the point of view of the bad guy in a movie, is very daring and difficult, but its done beautifully in this film. I give it a 7/10. Mostly, it was the acting and suspense that kept me watching til the end. The ending, however, was a bit disappointing because it felt as if the movie lacked a real conclusion. So, it is up to the audience to imagine what might happen to Tom Ripley in the end.
This movie is so well-done, so beautifully acted, so well-filmed, with such
wonderful scenery, you can almost excuse the fact that everyone in the movie
is nasty, shallow, and unsympathetic.
Watching this movie, you get the uncomfortable sensation of watching a beautifully groomed, pure-bred dog relieving itself on your shoes.
I saw this movie the day it opened, in the theatre. I hated it with a passion, it was depressing, claustrophobic, and LONG. Nevertheless, I felt drawn to it because it was so well-crafted. I'd reccomend it to any film-students anxious to learn their craft, but to no one else.
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