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Reel Critics

Story, acting shine

Lisa Potts of Glendale is an executive secretary.

In “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” we learn early on exactly what Mr.

Ripley’s talents are -- as he tells his new friend, Dickie Greenleaf,

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portrayed wonderfully by British actor Jude Law, that he writes bad

checks, tells lies and does impersonations. This barely scratches the

surface of this complex title role. Matt Damon stars as Tom Ripley and

does an excellent job in this fascinating and complicated character

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study.

Directed by Anthony Minghella (of “The English Patient” fame) and

adapted from the novel by Patricia Highsmith, this film reminded me of

the smart, taut thrillers of the 1940s. It has a compelling story along

with an exotic locale, high tension and intrigue throughout and stunning

performances all around. Gwyneth Paltrow shines as well, as Dickie’s

understanding, long-suffering girlfriend. This film is a definite must

see.

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My one critique would be the sudden and rather unsatisfying ending

(perhaps I expected or wanted something different), but overall I give

this film an appreciative 10 and a rousing thumbs up!

Hits and misses

Dean Briggs of Glendale is an actor.

This film is a moral tale. Anthony Minghella adapts a story of lies,

deception and tragedy that hits and misses.

The locations are very beautiful and the actors are all very talented.

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The problems lie not only in certain implausibilities of the story, but

also in Minghella’s mistake in losing his audience during critical

moments.

We lose connection to the lead character Tom Ripley, played by Matt

Damon. Damon’s character must keep us interested in the film, but we

often lose sight of the reasons why Tom is doing what he is doing and

what’s worse is that we stop caring.

Minghella plays Tom as a confused imposter. This works well part of

the time, but ultimately the film feels compromised and unclear in its

direction.


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