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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 31 January 2013
I love this film and like to watch it every few months.....great actors too.It always makes me cry....it is so brilliant.
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on 21 April 2017
Item arrived as expected.
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on 13 February 2012
This movie was widely misunderstood on its' release - some found it's fractured story telling confusing, some found it difficult to sympathize with the central couple. Some thought it middle-class and smug - or worse, worthy. Perhaps its' success at the Oscars worked against it by creating false expectations in audiences. Many imagined it was going to be 'Gone With The Wind' crossed with 'Laurence of Arabia', and left the cinema perplexed by it. If that describes your reaction back in 1996, now might be a good time to reacquaint yourself with it - now that the weight of 9 Oscars has dissipated in the intervening years.

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. It seems obvious to say it, but this is vital in a dialogue-rich film where words and imagery have equal weight. If you are watching it on a surround system, be warned that the soundtrack is punctuated with anti-aircraft guns, sandstorms, plane crashes, the chink-chink of glass viles, not to mention the heart-breakingly evocative music. I often use the first ten minutes of this disc as a demonstrator, such is the strength of it's imagery and audio mix.

The English Patient has probably found it's most natural home on Blu-Ray, because it is a film that truly rewards repeated viewings - yielding subtle plot points, character traits and grace notes every time it's viewed. Its' main protagonists may not be immediately likeable - but the tragic decisions they make (and the consequences of those decisions on others' lives) create a haunting wartime love story undercut by mistaken national identity. A story that David Lean might have wanted to make, had he been around.

As it was, we were lucky to have the hugely gifted - and greatly missed - Anthony Minghella to adapt the novel and commit it to celluloid. He went on to make three more feature films before he died (Talented Mr Riply, Cold Mountain and Breaking & Entering), but - as good as they were - 'Patient' is his greatest and most enduring film.
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on 9 March 2012
Excellent film i watched this film when it first came out at the cinema and bought the Video so had to buy it again on DVD.
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on 21 August 2008
Having watched The English Patient again recently, I had sand in my shoes and a tear in my eye...

Almásy: What do you love?
Katharine Clifton: What do I love?
Almásy: Say everything.
Katharine Clifton: Water, with fish in it. Hedgehogs, I love hedgehogs. Marmite. Baths, but not with other people! Islands. I could go on all day.
Almásy: Go on all day.
Katharine Clifton: Your handwriting.
Almásy: And what else?
Katharine Clifton: A husband.
Almásy: What do you hate most?
Katharine Clifton: A lie.

For those who have forgotten the depth of romance and passion that the movies are capable of conveying, English Director Anthony Minghella's The English Patient can remedy the situation. This is the most unabashed and powerful love story of recent years. It is a long movie with plenty of sub plots that contains flawless performances, intelligent dialogue, crisp camera work, and loaded glances to convey a level of emotional connection that many similar films miss.

Is The English Patient melodramatic? Of course, but it's the sort of finely-honed melodrama that embraces viewers rather than smothering them. And the movie never resorts to cheap, manipulative tactics. This well-crafted story, brought to the screen with great care by Anthony Minghella (Cold Mountain; Talented Mr Ripley) and based on the prize-winning novel by Michael Ondaatje, serves up the love of Almasy (Fiennes) and Katharine (Kristin Scott Thomas - Studio wanted Demi Moore for this part) in a way that is simultaneously epic and intimate. It also serves up a love story between Kip the Sapper and Hanna the nurse to the backdrop of WW2.

The English Patient has an elliptical structure, beginning with the same scene that it ends with. In between, it moves several years into the future, and even further into the past. The opening sequence, which takes place during World War II, shows a British plane being shot down over the North African desert. The pilot, a Hungarian count named Laszlo Almasy, is badly burned in the ensuing crash. Years later, in 1944 Italy, we meet him again. Although his outward injuries have healed, leaving his features scarred beyond recognition, he is dying. He has also supposedly lost his memory.

Hana (Juliette Binoche), the Canadian nurse who cares for him, takes him to an isolated, abandoned church to allow him to die in peace. There, injecting him with morphine and reading to him from his beloved volume of Herodotus, Hana seeks to seeks to stimulate his memories. Meanwhile, others arrive at the church -- a mysterious, crippled war veteran named Caravaggio (Willem Dafoe), who has a hidden agenda, and a pair of bomb experts, the British Sgt. Hardy (Kevin Whately) and his Sikh superior, Kip (Naveen Andrews), who becomes Hana's lover.

Eventually, through dreams and waking flashbacks, Almasy's memories come flooding back, although Caravaggio asserts that he hasn't really forgotten anything -- he just wants to forget. The story then flip-flops between the present and a period during the late-'30s and early- '40s, when Almasy is part of a British map-making effort surveying the Sahara. It's then that he meets Katharine Clifton, the wife of a good-natured pilot (Colin Firth who funnily enough plays Colin Firth) who is helping with the project. Almasy and Katharine fall for each other, and the stage is set for a classic exploration of love and betrayal set against the dangerous background of Nazi aggression.

Kristen Scott Thomas is luminous as Katharine, effortlessly conveying to the audience the energy and zest for life that Almasy finds irresistible. Together, these two lovers are hotter than the desert heat that simmers around them.

Juliette Binoche won an academy award as Hana, although her character is poorly developed. Willem Dafoe plays the kind of mysterious role he has become accustomed to (primarily because he does it so well).

The English Patient is the sort of intelligent, epic love story that seems so rare these days. There's something about this film that lingers long after the end credits have rolled -- a desire to re- experience all the feelings generated by the movie, perhaps. One of the reasons for The English Patient's power is that it strikes universal chords. This motion picture is yet another example of how the patience of movie-goers, after being sorely tried during the first eight mediocre months of 1996, is being rewarded by a surge of excellent end-of-the-year releases.
The dvd is crammed with extras, and the OST by M.Jarre is the best soundtrack i have ever heard.

After watching The English Patient again recently, I had sand in my shoes and a tear in my eye.
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on 14 May 2017
The English Patient is pure class. Ooooh yes this is extremely well crafted. The stunning backdrops, the production design, the musical score...all beautiful. Acting was also superb, Ralph Fiennes stole every scene and Juliette Binoche was outstanding. I can see why this dominated in the 1996 Academy Awards. Fiennes' character was rather complex, he started off very awkward and kept to himself...then the love of his life comes along and you can see him slowly falling for her. That's the beauty of this film, in its centre it is a love story with plenty of character development. Anthony Minghella did a marvellous job as director, he lets the scenery do the talking...no need for fancy camerawork and he knows it. I particularly loved the scene towards the end where Fiennes was silently crying whilst the musical score powered through into my eardrums, extremely powerful. However, does the plot warrant 156 minutes of runtime? Questionable. But for the most part I was engrossed. It is a perfect Sunday afternoon viewing that is touching and full of emotion.
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on 16 January 2017
I hadn't seen this movie for years and still only owned it on video. I read the reviews on amazon and this persuaded me to buy the blu ray over the dvd on what is a fairly old movie now. The blu ray picture is pretty good. Not one of the best, but on a decent 4k television it will upscale the picture and with an advanced picture setting it looks good. The sound is very good and displays the fantastic soundtrack of the film. There are some fine actors in this movie, Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas, Willem Dafoe, Juliette Binoche, Colin Firth and Naveen Andrews. Anthony Mingella was a brilliant director of this and The Talented Mr Ripley, and is sorely missed. It is one of the most beautifully filmed movies you will see, with a love story/affair, the Second World War in Africa, an engrossing plot and a first rate music score. I will certainly be watching this again soon. It scores on so many levels and is a classic.
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on 17 June 2009
This film has been my favorite film for a good while now. The first thing that struck me was the tragic nature of the events towards the end. But, once I got over that, I could enjoy the film.

It is quite simply a stunning film in every respect. The opening sequence shows off the quality of the cinematography and music brilliantly. A shot of a hand painting a swimming figure on canvas which slowly dissolves into a view of the desert from high in the sky. The music is haunting. It has a real feeling of longing and unfulfilled desire.

The script itself borders on poetry just like the prose of the novel. The actors and actresses delivering it all give virtuoso performances. Ralph Fiennes comes out on top for me and he is my favorite actor based on this film. The intensity of his gaze is incredible! The themes that are explored in the film are very interesting; desire, betrayal, ownership.

I've watched 'The English Patient' many times now but I still see myself watching it in years to come. It has real depth and lastability. I think it deserved to win all the awards it did and it is very close to my heart. I'd recommend giving it a try.
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on 6 December 2016
Anthony Minghella's masterpiece hypnotically draws you in on the first frame to the last, with composer Gabriel Yared's music and master cinematographer John Seale, A.C. S, creating a film that will live forever in the heart and soul of anyone who has seen it <3. Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas' characters are beautiful souls forever bound by love's eternal grace. Juliette Binoche is heartbreakingly human, vulnerable, dealing with constant loss, yet ultimately strengthened by all that she's experienced. An unsurpassed romantic masterpiece <3.
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VINE VOICEon 30 November 2005
When I saw this film, I thought it was one of the best romantic epics I had seen. Then I read the book. On reading the book, I came to realise just how brilliantly Oscar winning director Anthony Minghella adapted it to the big screen. It was a mammoth effort and nobody felt it could be done. But it happened and he directed it with grace and style.

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.
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