Customer Review

106 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HAVING IT ALL, October 25, 2004
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This review is from: The Talented Mr. Ripley (DVD)
When picking out films to see, I usually gravitate toward the "small" independent type of film usually avoiding the larger "major" productions. Thus, I avoided "the Talented Mr. Ripley" up until recently. My mistake! "The Talented Mr. Ripley" is outstanding and has, to me, everything a movie should have to make it the "complete film experience"-great script and direction, great acting, wonderful sound tract and beautiful cinematography. This film has it all!
The acting, by all of the actors, is superb. Matt Damon, as Tom Ripley is outstanding. He portrays a very complicated character believably. At no time are you aware that he is acting. This character does things that are, indeed, despicable; however, due to the acting skills of Damon, I actually liked the guy and felt deep sympathy and empathy for him and for his desire to be someone else
(I think we all have been there-at least I have-fortunately all of us don't do what Tom Ripley does, in the film, to achieve our wishes). To me the last scene of the film is fantastic and heart breaking due to Matt Damon giving a gut wrenching performance--the character Tom has finally found someone to love, and has found someone that accepts him as himself but due to past deeds and the need to keep his past hidden, he has to kill the person that could have brought him love and happiness. As usual, Jude Law, as the playboy and errant son Dickie, is awesome. He plays a cad but due to his acting skills you, like this cad. Gwenyth Platrow gives a "knock-em dead" performance, as Dickie's girlfriend starting out as a plastic rich "air-head" and ending up as the only one that really knows what has happened to Dickie when he has disappeared and becoming a completely different person because of that knowledge. Her knock down drag out with the character Tom is great. Cate Blanchett plays a socialite- debutante-type wonderfully. The acting alone would have made "The Talented Mr. Ripley" a great film; however, there is more!
The film has one of the best sound tracts that I've ever heard. The sound tract makes use of Renaissance Church music, so-called "Classical music" "cool" jazz and one of my favorites I (if not my favorite) pop standards-"My Funny Valentine" sung wonderfully by Matt Damon. The sound tract is gorgeous! What impressed me the most is that Matt Damon and Jude Law took the time to learn to really play the instruments that they were suppose to be playing in the film-Damon, the piano and Law the saxophone. One of my favorite scenes is in the smoked filled American-jazz nightclub--fabulous.
The recreation of 1950-era Italy is great and it is shot beautifully.
If you want to have an enjoyable film experience, buy this film
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 13, 2009 5:23:50 AM PDT
Great review. I couldn't agree more - but surely 'sound tracts' is a typo? They are sound tracks.

Posted on Nov 7, 2011 6:54:38 AM PST
Great review, but don't you think you should have put "spoiler alert" in there somewhere, seeing as how you gave away the ending?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2011 7:11:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2011 7:15:05 AM PST
Thank you. Any viewer of this movie will know before its end that Ripley will do anything to keep his secrets secret. By the way, thank for thinking that I am still alive. This review was written so many years ago and obviously, I am indeed alive.

Posted on Nov 16, 2011 6:49:55 AM PST
SeaFreak says:
Great review, but I was disappointed that you didn't mention Philipp Seymour Hoffman's performance. His was just as stellar as everyone else's; he played the part of Dickie's rich but a-hole friend perfectly. And the way he "sniffed out" Tom Ripley as not being upper crust added a crucial layer to this film.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2011 7:07:00 AM PST
Thank you. Indeed Hoffman was great.

Posted on Nov 26, 2012 9:20:39 AM PST
This is an excellent review. I came here with the intention to write a review with the same keynote: Got it all.

Since the definitive review has already been written, I'll just gild the lily a bit (by my lights) with a few additional comments.

Acting-wise, this film belongs to the guys: Damon, Law, and Hoffman. No disrespect to the women -- the guys just had the great parts. The women were highly competent; the guys were spectacular. Specifically as to Hoffman (discussed in these comments), he had very little screen time. But in each appearance, his too-clearly-seeing, taunting behavior toward Damon's Ripley was just extraordinary. Assuming that he wasn't improvising too much, I suppose the script also deserves a lot of credit: So, Tommy, you live in Dickie's house, wear Dickie's clothes, and Dickie's father pays you...How's the peeping? How's the peeping, Tommy? Tommy, Tommy, Tommy...The only thing here that looks like Dickie is ~you~. (approximate dialog) Great stuff.

On the subject of having it all, I would like to add Hitchcockian suspense, especially when Freddie and then Marge visit Tom in his grand apartment where he is posing as Dickie. Also, as Tom encounters the various characters in Rome while living his double life.

As mentioned by George, I strongly commend the cinematography and miscellaneous production values that gave us this absolutely gorgeous and totally evocative visual time-travel. This is one of those rare films that you could enjoy watching with no sound just for the images. But then add the fabulous music...And all of it in the service of a story that looks seriously into one of the darker corners of human character.

I find it pretty dispiriting that the rating here at Amazon is as mediocre as it is. And this film did not win even one of the ridiculous Oscars. Even the respectable IMDB rating is well short of the elite score that the film deserves.

I predict that this film will slowly rise as shallower work fades from memory. Personally, I find that I enjoy watching it repeatedly, which is a promising indicator. It reminds me a little of the great Scorsese gangster films, which just have so much going on in them that I want to watch again and again.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 9:55:48 AM PST
Thank you for your kind words. I still love this film.

Posted on Nov 26, 2012 10:06:21 AM PST
By the way, George, it's "soundtrack", not "sound tract". :>)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 12:31:27 PM PST
Scott thank you for pointing out the error and thanks for thinking that I am still alive.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 10:00:25 AM PST
You're welcome. And, you've got a terrific sense of humor, George! :>)

Randall Brooks
(author, "The Two Worlds of the Mind",
"Conversations At The Party",
"Perfect Strangers")
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