The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Critic Consensus: With Matt Damon's unsettling performance offering a darkly twisted counterpoint to Anthony Minghella's glossy direction, The Talented Mr. Ripley is a suspense thriller that lingers.
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as Tom Ripley
as Marge Sherwood
as Dickie Greenleaf
as Freddie Miles
as Peter Smith-Kingsley
as Herbert Greenleaf
as Insp. Roverini
as Alvin MacCarron
as Aunt Joan
as Colonnello Verrecchia
as Signora Buffi
as Sergeant Baggio
as Emily Greenleaf
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Critic Reviews for The Talented Mr. Ripley
The sumptuous production, eclectic score, grand performances and engrossing moments of suspense make Ripley one the year's finer offerings.
Minghella puts us inside Ripley's head, inviting us to share his envy and giddy excitement even as we recognize his warped need to be someone he's not.
Familiarity is the watchword of this overblown opus, which neglects holes in the plot to play up its postmodern theme of identity as pastiche -- a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black.
On balance, The Talented Mr. Ripley is worth seeing more for its undeniably delightful journey than its final destination.
Not only is it an elegantly polished affair, with top notch performances all round, and magnificent camerawork and editing, it's also acutely aware of how class, money and sex shape desire and resentment.
Audience Reviews for The Talented Mr. Ripley
Compelling, dark, shocking, and fascinating, The Talented Mr. Ripley is expertly constructed and features exceptional acting, writing, and a thrilling narrative.
A dive into the mind of a frustrated arriviste and the violent and cunning methods he uses to fulfill his social and affective yearnings. Subtle, suspenseful and fascinating character study.
Anthony Minghella absolutely knocked it out of the park with this taut and quite faithful adaptation of the first entry in a series of noir thrillers by Patricia Highsmith. Set in the 1950s, Tom Ripley is a young, bisexual man whose only real talents in life are forging handwriting, impersonating others, and running second-rate scams. He makes his way in New York as a men's room attendant and occasional pianist, but, after being mistaken for a Princeton grad, he comes into contact with a shipping tycoon named Greenleaf who offers Tom $1,000 plus expenses to go to Italy and convince his wayward son Dickie to return home to the States. Tom sets out on this task, but after befriending Dickie and spending lots of time with him and his lover Marge, he becomes dangerously envious of the carefree and lavish lifestyle lead by Dickie, and after his advances are rejected, Tom decides he'd rather become Dickie instead of continuing his life as it was. After impulsively murdering DIckie and assuming his identity, he finds himself playing a dangerous game in order to cover his tracks and keep the truth hidden. Aside from greatly expanding on a minor character from the book and creating a whole new one for the movie, this is a wonderfully accurate and faithful take on the source material. It's a very taut and gripping psychological thriller, and the cast masterfully bring the characters to life. Matt Damon is tremendous, and successfully goes against type as the psychopathic con man with serious issues when it comes to identity and a sense of belonging. He's quite chilling, and you really feel on edge as he tries to pull off the task of becoming someone else. Jude Law is marvelous as the arrogant and brash Dickie, and he really sells the carefree hipster persona of the character. Gwyneth Paltrow is really good as Dickie's lover Marge, although I feel she really gets overshadowed by everyone else, namely Philip Seymour Hoffman as Dickie's friend Freddie Miles, a really slimey and highly suspicious worm who barely conceals his contempt for the tormented lower class Ripley. It's a marvelous performance, and a real tribute to his talents, as Freddie is probably the most loathsome character here. The production values are top notch, the cinematography and location shooting are absolutely gorgeous, and the film is really strong when it comes to delivering the tension, suspense, and thrills. This is a classy and wonderfully engrossing thriller that you should definitely make a point to see.
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