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English Patient [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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But if you loved it from the beginning - as I did - you will greet this release with great enthusiasm. I have no doubt that fans of the movie will relish owning Anthony Minghella's (and cinematographer John Seale's) vision of this wonderful, rich and emotionally resonant story on Blu-Ray. That said, I think buyers should initially temper their expectations as regards the picture quality on this particular Blu-Ray release.
That is not to say it is bad - it is not. It faithfully reproduces the images as originally shot. But many equate film grain as being something that Blu-Ray magically removes - and that all movies should be rendered crystal clear by the new format. Don't make that mistake here - the gritty 'look' of the film in the desert sequences was very deliberately crafted by the director. Conversely, when the story cuts to a different time and location - such as the scenes at the monastery - the gorgeous photography takes on a different texture, capturing the lush greens and golden sunlight of northern Italy, near the end of the second world war.
The Blu-Ray format also offers superior quality audio compared with the DVD.Read more ›
The storyline is that a man (Ralph Fiennes) is pulled from the wreckage of his burning plane in the desert during WW2 and comes to be cared for by an army nurse Hana (Juliette Binoche) who herself is traumatised from losing many close to her. They come to convalesce in an Italian villa and the injured man slowly recalls the past events leading to his crash, in particular his affair with a colleague's wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) and how their betrayals came to have grave consequences. The story is adapted from the Booker winning novel by Michael Ondaatje, and the film itself was showered with oscars for everything except the main actors (they were robbed!).
The director, Anthony Minghella, particularly merits praise - he has an assured eye for how a scene should be composed and the North African desert and Italy have been beautifully filmed. The storyline is very engaging - Minghella wrote the screenplay (which won an oscar...ahem, I mean bafta ;) and, having also read the book, I do feel that his adaptation works particularly well in that he has managed to distil the essence of the book and present it in a format suitable for film rather than just try to portray the book as it was written.
When first released, comparisons were made to Dr Zhivago, and it is easy to see why. The English Patient has the same style of epic story-telling whilst remaining focused on the characters and how they live their lives amidst turbulent times. Highly recommended - and this two disc edition with its commentaries, deleted scenes, making-ofs and interviews is a superior package to the original release which had no extras.
It is one of these fims which begins with the ending and then puts the story together piece by piece, a format I am very taken by. It is the story of an adulterous relationship that ends in disaster. I am entirely convinced by Fiennes as Count Almazy and Scott-Thomas as Katharine Clifton but prefer the touching nursing scenes with Binoche.
My favourite bit is the little candles and the church largely due to the music. It puts a huge smile on my face and brings a tear to my eye - yes, I know it's completely unrealistic but I just don't care and admit to occasionally watching that scene on its own when I am fed up with the reality of relationships.
This is escapism at its best and I can't recommend it stongly enough. Its perfect for those who usually find romantic movies too schmaltzy and pathetic.
The producer, who was Saul Zaentz, won 1 of the 9 Oscars this film won. They were richly deserved. The Oscar winning production designer Stuart Craig (the Oscar winner who designed 'Dangerous Liaisons') did an incredible job, and it was beautifully filmed by Oscar winner John Seale making it look gorgeous. The acting is superb throughout. And the Oscar winning score by Gabriel Yared is also as epic on a grand scale as the film it compliments so superbly.
The special edition DVD is a revelation. There are features looking at the making of the film, The Work of Stuart Craig looking at how he designed the film (excellent by the way) and a couple of deleted scenes among others. A truly exceptional package to compliment an already tremendous film. I feel this film has the same quality and feel of "Gone With the Wind" and David Lean's epics "Dr Zhivago" and "Lawrence of Arabia". One of my favourite DVDs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
All three great films, they don't make them like that anymore, good stories.Published 1 month ago by Maureen Gouldsmith
9 academy awards? I'm out of touch.
Each to their own and thank goodness for diversity.
I found it boring in parts, too long winded overall and unrealistic for the... Read more
Seen this twice now...fantastic film to share a glass of red and a tear or two.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
As described. Delivered on time. Pleased with purchase and the company who provided it.Published 3 months ago by Fiona Murdoch
I have seen this film loads of times and I'm
Still glued to the TV set when it's on. I highly recommend to anyone .