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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Nina's {Juliet Stevenson} life is torn apart with the unexpected death of her lover, Jamie {Alan Rickman}. Stuck in a rat infested flat and under expensive therapy, Nina's grief is suddenly stopped in its tracks when Jamie comes back into her life as a ghost. Just as Nina meets Mark, a potential suitor.

For his first feature film, director and writer Anthony Minghella chose this touching, and often funny, tale of bereavement and learning to love again. Written in the main for Stevenson to showcase her talents, its strengths lie in the actors performances, the sensitive writing and its low key moody production ethic. Often it's been tagged the British answer to the Moore/Swayze movie Ghost. That's a lazy link and a touch misleading, as this is, if anything, the anti blockbuster movie, while the respective plots bear little resemblance. And besides which, this was made quite some time before Patrick and Demi were playing slinky round the pottery wheel.

Stevenson is marvellous, she gives Nina real depth, and in one grief stricken scene she delivers one of the most believable enactments of that emotion ever put on to celluloid. Rickman shines as he gets his teeth into something outside of the bad guy roles he was {still is} known for. Watch out for a poem (La Muerta) segment shared between the two, pure class. And as Mark, Michael Maloney is hugely effective in what is the tricky third wheel role. While the impressive acting on show is boosted by Barrington Pheloung's poignant, rhythmic musical score.

There are a number of interpretations put forward as to what Truly, Madly, Deeply is about. But really it has to be down to the individual viewer to make their own deductions. What isn't in doubt is that for anyone who been deeply in love or has lost a loved one to death, this film can't fail to ignite a number of emotions. Even as the comedy takes a hold, comedy which sits nicely within the structure of the tale I might add since some critics were baffled by the blend, one just knows we are being guided to a telling point where the story finishes for the protagonists, but goes on for us viewers long after the credits have rolled. To first time viewers I say, banish any hope of Hollywood histrionics and flourishing visuals and let Minghella and his wonderful cast take you by the hand. For the rewards are there for the discerning adult. 9/10
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Anthony Minghella, in his directorial debut, has produced a superlative film about life, love, death, and grief. It is a genre bending film that is a romantic fantasy with both comedic and dramatic layers. Original and unusual, it is at times drolly funny. At other times, it is profoundly sad and poignant.
The plot revolves around Nina (Juliet Stevenson), a thirty-something English woman who has lost Jamie (Alan Rickman), the love of her life, to a totally unexpected death. She is profoundly in despair and her grief is bottomless, piercing, palpable, and all encompassing. Living in a rat infested flat, Nina seems unable to cope with life without her Jamie, for whom she incessantly longs. When it seems that she can no longer bear the pain of his loss, he suddenly comes back from the dead, no figment of her imagination.
Initially overjoyed, transformed by her sheer happiness at having Jamie back, she becomes her old self. Of course, it is too good to be true. He starts having all his dead friends crash at the flat with him, invading her space and privacy, redoing her flat, and complaining. Those little annoying things about Jamie that she had forgotten come bubbling to the surface. Having romanticized their relationship in her overwhelming sense of loss, this reminder of how he really was helps to ground her grief.
When she meets a sensitive and attractive man, Mark (Michael Maloney), who is attracted to her, she finds herself torn between the memories of her love for her dead Jamie and the possiblity of love with the very much alive Mark. Nina has a decision to make that will determine her future. Moreover, the viewer has to wonder whether Jamie's return and subsequent behavior was part of a concerted effort prompted by his love for Nina and his own profound sadness at seeing her unable to go on with a life without him. They surely loved each other truly, madly, deeply.
Juliet Stevenson gives a bravura performance as the haunted Nina. The scene in which she unburdens her grief to her therapist is heartbreaking in scope and will render the viewer to a sobbing, gibbering jelly. Alan Rickman's performance as the beloved Jamie is both romantic and droll. The viewer can understand how it was that Nina and Jamie loved each other so much. Michael Maloney is likewise engaging as the sensitive and whimsical Mark. The viewer knows the instant Mark appears on screen that, if any man can woo Nina away from her memories and spectral lover, it is he.
All in all, this has got to be one of the most definitive films on love, overwhelming grief, and closure. Bravo!
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on 8 June 2011
Truly, Madly, Deeply was a spur of the moment buy for me, i had hardly heard of it and honestly, from the plot description, I wasn't expecting much, but seeing that i adore Rickman and the majority of his films - i thought i'd give this a go. This is a sensitive and moving film, filled with romance, death and further truly emotive themes. Juliet Stevenson plays her role as Nina fantastically, and as for Alan Rickman - his performance is flawless, probably only scarred by the fact that a gang of ghosts join in with him. A great buy, i would recommend to anyone! My only real problem (I can live with the gang of film loving ghosts) is that Rickman's character is called 'Jamie' - doesn't really suit him?...
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on 15 February 2002
I enjoyed this film on 2 different levels. Firstly, it's a fabulous story of the effect of bereavement on a partner/spouse; the huge spectrum of emotions; the impact on everyday life and the simultaneous desire and resistance to moving on from grief. Nina is portrayed superbly by Juliet Stephenson. She has amazing strength of character yet also combines this with an appealing sense of vulnerability. She's working, trying to make a "terrible flat" into a secure home for herself, still being friendly, helpful, caring - while all the time, her emotional pain is so tangible.
Alan Rickman is her dead partner Jamie - who comes back to her in his ethereal form. He is absolutely stunning and brings his inimitable dry humour to the context of being dead. Beneath the story, though, you can read into a lot of metaphorical stuff - cleverly done. The ending is both heartening yet crucifying, emotionally. It never fails to make me cry, but in a healthy, cathartic sense. Life can and does go on if only you can allow yourself to try. It's more down to earth than "Ghost" and more real, somehow. If you enjoyed the book "What dreams may come" (NOT THE FILM),I think you'll enjoy this and vice versa. Alan Rickman acts his best ever role, in my opinion. Just make sure you've got plenty of tissues handy!!
0Comment| 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Anthony Minghella, in his directorial debut, has produced a superlative film about life, love, death, and grief. It is a genre bending film that is a romantic fantasy with both comedic and dramatic layers. Original and unusual, it is at times drolly funny. At other times, it is profoundly sad and poignant.
The plot revolves around Nina (Juliet Stevenson), a thirty something English woman who has lost Jamie (Alan Rickman), the love of her life, to a totally unexpected death. She is profoundly in despair and her grief is bottomless, piercing, palpable, and all encompassing. Living in a rat infested flat, Nina seems unable to cope with life without her Jamie, for whom she incessantly longs. When it seems that she can no longer bear the pain of his loss, he suddenly comes back from the dead, no figment of her imagination.
Initially overjoyed, transformed by her sheer happiness at having Jamie back, she becomes her old self. Of course, it is too good to be true. He starts having all his dead friends crash at the flat with him, invading her space and privacy, redoing her flat, and complaining. Those little annoying things about Jamie that she had forgotten come bubbling to the surface. Having romanticized their relationship in her overwhelming sense of loss, this reminder of how he really was helps to ground her grief.
When she meets a sensitive and attractive man, Mark (Michael Maloney), who is attracted to her, she finds herself torn between the memories of her love for her dead Jamie and the possiblity of love with the very much alive Mark. Nina has a decision to make that will determine her future. Moreover, the viewer has to wonder whether Jamie's return and subsequent behavior was part of a concerted effort prompted by his love for Nina and his own profound sadness at seeing her unable to go on with a life without him. They surely loved each other truly, madly, deeply.
Juliet Stevenson gives a bravura performance as the haunted Nina. The scene in which she unburdens her grief to her therapist is heartbreaking in scope and will render the viewer to a sobbing, gibbering jelly. Alan Rickman's performance as the beloved Jamie is both romantic and droll. The viewer can understand how it was that Nina and Jamie loved each other so much. Michael Maloney is likewise engaging as the sensitive and whimsical Mark. The viewer knows the instant Mark appears on screen that, if any man can woo Nina away from her memories and spectral lover, it is he.
All in all, this has got to be one of the most definitive films on love, overwhelming grief, and closure. Bravo!
The DVD provides a crystal clear picture as well an excellent audio. While it has some bonus features, it is limited to an audio commentary with the director, as well as a brief interview with him. Originally filmed on a shoestring budget for BBC TV, it is shown full screen only.
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on 3 November 2009
This has long been one of my favourite films. I think this DVD is a must have for anyone who likes romantic drama. Juliet Stevenson is astonishing as Nina and so is Alan Rickman as Jamie. The chemistry between them is superb. It is a film about grief and coming to terms with it and getting on with one's life after the death of a loved one. In this case, Nina is helped by Jamie's return as a ghost. It is then she finds out that he wasn't the perfect man she made him out to be after his death. The scene in which Nina and Rickman play the game describing their love for each other in as many adverbs as they can think of, is one of my favourites of the film. The scene in which Jamie recites a poem by Pablo Neruda to Nina is very poignant and very, very moving. The poem is about a dead woman, but in "Truly, Madly, Deeply" I really got the sense that Jamie is telling Nina to get with her life and just because he's no longer there, it doesn't mean she no longer loves him. A really beautiful film, far more superior to "Ghost" (with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore).
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on 4 January 2002
Truly Madly Deeply is surely one of the best British films of the last years, walking gently on the thin line of drama and spiritual wit.
As a debut it surpasses Anthony Minghella's later over-praised "The English Patient" with ease, sporting the sort of romantic magic seldom seen on the silver screen, full of unforgettable dialogues and a beautiful moral wich doesn't throw itself at your face. Instaid this movie gently gets under your skin never to let go.
A masterpiece of intelectual cinema, and both Juliet Stevenson's and Alan Rickman's strongest performance to date. A must-see!
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on 6 January 2003
This remains my favourite film of all time. I know it is not an epic but for me it has everything. A well written and imaginative script that is full of vitality and compassion. Wonderful performances by everyone in the cast. Wit and humour as well as an examination of the pain of loss and renewal and birth. One of the few films I must have seen ten times and never tire of. Simple yet profound - straighforward and yet brilliant. And the speech about the waste of love - well, scripts don't get better than this. If you only buy one film in your whole life - make it this one.
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on 5 September 2002
This film is another in a long line of great English filmmaking. The makers managed to take a very touchy subject and tell a story around it in a way that does not make you feel embarrassed. The actors' perfomance is first class. They make the characters seem totally believable. I felt Nina's grief like it was my own and sobbed along with her. Alan Rickman never ceases to amaze me in the variety of roles he can play and if he was faking his playing the cello he did it very well. I will never be able to listen to cello music by Bach again without remembering Nina and Jamie.
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on 30 March 2015
I first saw this film when it was televised by the BBC several years ago, before I understood the concept of love and loss.

It was a joy to see it again. Juliet Stevenson & Alan Rickman beautifully portray Nina and Jamie. I understand all too well now about love & loss and I totally understand how Nina felt. The film has its comedic moments, but the story shows that it is possible to move on after the death of a loved one.

I think that this film should be seen by everyone who is having trouble moving on. It takes you through the grieving and letting go with great sensitivity. I know what I'm talking about due to personal experience. Even to viewers who are skeptical about the spirit world there is still something here for them.

This is a beautiful film with great scenes and real empathy for the bereaved. I would recommend this film to anyone
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