The Talented Mr. Ripley

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This is one that most will really like, or really hate. Myself, I choose to really like it…OK love it. This film is just great on so many levels. Director Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) does a masterful job with the actors and the creation of their characters. He also incorporates the small Italian town and the music throughout almost as if they were characters themselves. A second viewing you might even pick up on all the symbolism throughout, the reflection of Ripley’s face in the piano and the ending scene, the different reflections of Ripley….think about it!

I try to write reviews and encourage those that haven’t seen these movies, to see them…or on the other hand to avoid like the plague. So to talk about the story without giving away key plot points and twists….kind of hard on this one. Everyone should experience the trills seeing it for a first time. It really is a classic potboiler movie that starts out with one innocent lie about a jacket of all things. Things begin to twist and turn from there.

As far as the acting, to me everyone in this is on the top of their game and very good. I don’t know how Matt Damon got snubbed. I thought he was clearly better than Sean Penn in Sweet and Lowdown and better than Denzel Washington in The Hurricane. Jude Law is very good and was nominated in a supporting role. And 3 other incredible performances from Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote), and Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love), Just great all around! (Also kudos to the costume designers, make a not of how Ms Paltrow’s costumes change in color and style with her demeanor throughout the move.)

The first time I saw this film, I enjoyed it, but the more I see it, the better I like it, and the more I can read into it. If you have only seen it once and liked it, I recommend a second viewing, and if you haven’t seen it, give it a chance. Also being an avid cook, this a a great movie to break out a nice bottle of wine, maybe a pinot grigio or Sauvignon blanc, cheese and crackers…OK and a few grapes. Keep the wine cool and close, you won’t want to miss any part of this flick. Highly recommended!

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Doubt

Doubt

Finally watched Doubt again since the last time I saw it was in the theatres. I thought it was very good, very well acted movie back then, and I enjoyed it a bit more this time around. Originally I thought the last three Meryl Streep’s character really came too far out of character. The second viewing I read some things into that final scene that I didn’t think of before. Other than that, I thought it was a real incredible movie.

 

Meryl Streep gives an Oscar worthy performance. In my view, she was just as good or better than Kate Winslet in The Reader. And Philip Seymour Hoffman (Best Actor for Capote) had it not been the year for Heath Ledger in the Dark Knight, probably would have won a supporting Oscar for himself. The final scene with Hoffman and Streep are what movies are all about, and this scene is worth the price of admission (or DVD) alone! Amy Adams also gives a particular good performance,and Viola Davis has a very powerful 8 minutes…..and both deserving of Oscar nominations.

 

I don’t want to give to much away for those who have not seen it, but would love to hear feedback on everyone’s thoughts. Guilty, not guilty, what were the doubts? This movie is worth seeing for sure, and even seeing more than once. Very compelling and thought provoking.