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The Talented Mr. Ripley 1999

Tom Ripley is a poor New Yorker sent to Italy by Mr Greenleaf to bring back his spoiled son, Dickie. Tom worms his way into the home of Dickie and girlfriend Marge, and he soon gets a taste of the high life.

Starring:
Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow
Runtime:
2 hours, 13 minutes

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is an absolutely must see film. It is haunting, and very tense. I wasn't sure that Matt Damon was the best actor for this role, but the more I've watched his performance the more I am captivated by his sociopathic portrayal of Ripley. I thought the end sequence with Peter was absolutely blood tingling - and Jack Davenport (from the BBC's This Life) adds marvellous support to a top notch cast. The extras on this DVD are incredible. Minghella's academic commentary is excellent. For example, I wasn't aware that Cate Blanchett's character wasn't in the book, so now I've got to read Patricia Highsmith's novel! And the way Minghella informs how he condensed the first 40 pages of the novel into 4 pages of script, to produce a wonderful prologue to his film, demonstrates his excellence as a screenwriter and director. The cast interviews are worth buying the DVD for alone. Overall, this is an excellent format that truly offers value for money - and Mr Ripley is one of the most haunting films I have seen for years, and can now see time and time again.
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Format: VHS Tape
I think most people would agree that MOST movies-made-from-books don't even come close to the books themselves. Orders of events are changed, minor characters are deleted, even entire sections of the plots are left out for "artistic reasons" (or simply because it costs too much to include them in the film). If you're lucky, you see the movie and THEN read the book; otherwise, you're left utterly disappointed.
Well, I read "The Talented Mr. Ripley" before seeing it on video. And I was hesitant about seeing the movie, as the book was incredibly rich and very deep, especially in character development. I had huge doubts that the movie could do the book justice. But to my very pleasant surprise, they seemed to have pulled it off somehow.
This movie is actually almost as good as the book -- amazing!!
Matt Damon is absolutely superb as Tom Ripley. He looks like Tom, has his mannerisms, has his voice. Damon is SO successful at portraying Tom Ripley as Highsmith had written of his character in her book: A conniving, pathetic psychopath, who disgusts you but also somehow manages to make you feel sorry for him in the process. A very tough role for any actor, but Damon was excellent.
Likewise, Jude Law is wonderful at portraying the likeable extrovert Dickie Greenleaf -- a rich kid who's lazing away in Italy on Daddy's money, but who still doesn't come across as a selfish snob. Gwyneth Paltrow does a good job as hesitant Marge, who lacks self-confidence and only wants Dickie to reciprocate the devotion she has for him. My only complaint about having Paltrow in this role is that I feel she is too pretty to play Marge, as in the book Marge is a bit more homely. But still, Paltrow gets Marge's personality down pat, which is most important.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Nothing more really needs to be said about the film itself - it's just a beautiful piece of work. Technically, the Blu-Ray is certainly an improvement over the DVD but don't expect visual revelations. It's not a vintage film - although tries to capture that feeling - and I find the picture quality slightly disappointing. There are ways to get that old feel without compromising the definition (one good example is Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy which perfectly captures that old film stock look with its characteristic muted colour palette). But Ripley is just downright grainy. But don't let that detract from the main point, which shines through - it is just a wonderful movie; beautifully shot with compelling performances and it successfully (for me at least) evokes the time and places in which it is set.
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Format: DVD
Mistaken for a Princeton graduate whilst wearing a borrowed blazer, the low born New York charmer, Tom Ripley (Matt Damon), is dispatched by rich businessman Herbert Greenleaf (James Rebhorn), to travel first class on an all-expenses-paid mission, to bring his errant young playboy son, Dickie (Jude Law), back to New York from his champagne and party filled life on the Mediterranean. However, on meeting the handsome and charismatic Dickie (and his equally attractive girlfriend), the awestruck Tom falls for his charms and an ambiguous relationship begins. Tom, the social chameleon who has talents for forgery and impersonation, feeling that he cannot enter this world as himself begins to transform his identity, by learning new skills, studying jazz, art, geography and foreign languages. He not only changes his clothes he also changes his character. Meanwhile the innocent and trusting Meredith (Cate Blanchett) who met Tom on his arrival in Europe accepts Tom as an equal because she thinks he is Dickie Greenleaf. But all is not well in the playground of the rich, for Dickie is in turns as unpleasant and rude as he is debonair and charming, and soon he and his rich friends begin to tire of the financially inferior and all too clingy Tom, who has no intention of being cast adrift, for it is his belief that "its better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody"...
The Talented Mr Ripley subtly portrays the hedonistic lifestyle of rich, young Americans in the 1950's. In the movie, Tom is less the casebook amoral psychopath of the novel and more a victim of class in his desire to be like the rich but cruel Dickie and Freddie. The film is, however, anything but simple and only about an hour in does the film become anything approaching an orthodox thriller.
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