The Talented Mister Ripley (1999)

Anthony Minghella directs Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow in this period psychological thriller where a young gay conman ingratiates himself into the lives and wealth of the idle American rich in Italy.

A very beautiful film, every shot feels sundappled and stinking of La Dolce Vita. The wardrobes alone are to die for, no wonder Tom Ripley kills to stay smartly attired. You get three bristling chest-out performances from Damon, Law and an egregiously spoilt Philip Seymour Hoffman. Any one of them is Oscar worthy and rewards repeated viewing. This is very much a class act. Visually it rarely puts a foot wrong, and it wears its intelligence proudly on its sleeve. I enjoy it thoroughly every time I watch it, though my preference is still for Purple Noon. The final act drifts a little too far away from the main drag, you know if you are still introducing pivotal characters to the plot in the final 15 minutes that maybe the adaptation could have used a little reigning in or folding together of players. Minor gripes about a film I return to often.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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