Films: The Talented Mr. Ripley

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  • Saturday, November 22, 1:30 PM
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The Talented Mr. Ripley

The Talented Mr. Ripley

USA, 1999, 139 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Archival, Detective/Mystery, Drama, Romance
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Anthony Minghella
Producer: (executive) Sydney Pollack, William Horberg, Tom Sternberg
Editor: Walter Murch
Screenwriter: Anthony Minghella
Cinematographer: John Seale
Principal Cast: Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Philip Seymour Hoffman
US Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Oscar-winning legends Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella have both honored the festival with their presence on Opening Nights past: Pollack attended with Random Hearts (SDFF 22), Minghella with Breaking and Entering (SDFF 29) in 2006—the same year he received the Mayor’s Career Achievement Award. In recognition of the passing of these filmmaking greats, we are screening one of their many collaborations, The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Filmed mainly in Italy with an all-star cast including Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett, and the ever-watchable Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Talented Mr. Ripley was nominated for numerous Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and Film Critics Society Awards upon its release. Adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s much-loved 1955 crime novel by Minghella himself (who also directed, while Pollack executive produced), it’s a wonderfully convoluted murder mystery underpinned by class conflict and barely suppressed homoeroticism. Tom Ripley (Damon)—a hard-up piano player in 1950s Manhattan—borrows a Princeton jacket for a gig at an upscale garden party. When one guest, the father of recent Princeton grad Dickie Greenleaf (Law), begins confiding in Tom about his son’s debauched sojourn overseas, Tom pretends to know him—and is ultimately offered $1000 to go to Italy and convince him to come home. Once there, however, Tom himself becomes immersed in the good life—and does whatever proves necessary to keep it that way.


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