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Anthony Minghella
Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow
Writing Credits:
Anthony Minghella

Social climber Tom Ripley becomes ensnared in the intoxicating world of Dickie Greenleaf in 1950s Italy.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$12,738,237 on 2307 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby 2.0
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 139 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 9/10/2013

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Anthony Minghella
• “Inside The Talented Mr. Ripley” Featurette
• “Reflections on The Talented Mr. RIpley” Featurette
• “Making of the Soundtrack” Featurette
• Trailers


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


The Talented Mr. Ripley [Blu-Ray] (1999)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 21, 2020)

How do you follow up a critically and financially successful movie that captured the industry's biggest honor, the Academy Award for Best Picture? In the case of director Anthony Minghella, you make a better film.

In 1996, Minghella created The English Patient, a surprisingly popular film that accomplished all of the above-listed feats. However, that doesn't mean the movie lacked detractors, and I was - and remain - firmly in that camp.

For the details of my problems with Patient, you can check out my full review linked above. Suffice it to say that I agree with Elaine Benes.

When I first saw the trailer to Ripley, I expected to encounter a similar reaction to it. In the first half of that promo, the film appears to be some sort of inane character piece in which a young man experiences a magical summer in Europe. He learns, he loves, he grows, blah blah blah.

I would have reacted negatively to that kind of film no matter who directed it. However, the reveal that Ripley came from the director of Patient inspired even more disdain from me.

However, the second half of the trailer altered my impression. At that point we learn that all is not as idyllic as it seems, and what looked to be a silly "coming of age" fantasy quickly goes down a more sinister and disturbing path.

My wariness toward Minghella remained - I'm telling you, I really disliked Patient - but this trailer for Ripley definitely piqued my curiosity.

Ripley works as a reverse Cinderella story. Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) starts the film as a poor shlub, but he quickly works his way into the beautiful world of seaside Italy in the late 1950s, where he ingratiates himself with sun-dappled, idle rich lovers Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) and Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow).

Tom has been sent to Italy on a mission funded by Dickie's father (James Rebhorn) to elicit the return of the wayward younger Greenleaf. Tom gets this job via false pretenses, and he continues to present himself as something and someone he's not when he arrives in Italy and meets up with Marge and Dickie.

The story follows his time at the ball, as it were, until inevitably the clock strikes twelve and he is forced to transform back to his old self. However, unlike Cindy, Tom doesn't go quietly, and his reaction to the end of the party is what motivates the more intense activities that occur during the remainder of the movie.

To give away more than that would be unfair. While I can't say that the twists and turns of Ripley feel unexpected, they still should stay under wraps until you actually see the movie. Suffice it to say that Ripley presents a consistently intriguing and smart psychological thriller in the Hitchcock tradition.

Much of the reason Ripley succeeds comes from its cast, which reads like a "Who's Who" of accomplished young actors circa 1999, and Damon takes some serious risks in the title part. He remains onscreen for virtually the whole movie - I don't think we find a single scene in which he doesn't appear - and he carries it pretty well.

At times Damon doesn't appear up to the psychological complexities of the part, but overall, he provides a more than adequate performance. I also must give him credit for taking on such a risqué role, as Ripley isn't exactly the sort of character by which he would’ve endear himself to his teen following of the era.

Law and Paltrow also seem quite good here. Law received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of the shallow but magnetic Dickie, and the plaudits feel justified, as he pulls off the nuances of the role well.

Paltrow kind of disappears in Ripley since she gets overshadowed by the more powerful parts occupied by the men. However, additional viewings of the film seem likely to wring extra nuance from her performance.

The remaining supporting actors all ably portray their characters as well. Phillip Seymour Hoffman adds another wonderful characterization to his résumé through the arrogant and smug Freddie, and both James Rebhorn and Philip Baker Hall seem strong in their minor parts as Dickie's father and a private investigator, respectively.

Finally, Cate Blanchett gives a pretty good performance as rich gal Meredith, though she has difficulty with the American accent. Every time she speaks, her voice reminds me of Alan Rickman's brief "American guy" ruse in Die Hard, which isn't a very convincing example of that sort of inflection.

Despite that minor flaw, The Talented Mr. Ripley by and large offers a strong viewing experience. The movie follows the Hitchcock tradition of psychological thrillers and provides a compelling story. Forget The English Patient, as this is Anthony Minghella's best film.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

The Talented Mr. Ripley appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie’s visuals looked good.

The shows offered solid clarity. Only a smidgen of softness materialized, so definition was generally positive.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering appeared, and I saw no edge haloes. Source flaws failed to mar the presentation.

The film opted for a palette with a lean toward amber and reds. Within those parameters, the colors seemed fine.

Blacks were pretty deep and tight, while shadows appeared positive, with only a little opacity on occasion. Overall, the film provided appealing visuals.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack suited the movie and became more immersive than expected. Music turned into an active partner, as the score and other musical moments filled the room in a broad manner.

Given then movie’s character basis, effects had less to do, but they fleshed out the tale well. Atmospheric material felt involving and convincing.

Sound quality seemed fine. Dialogue always appeared crisp and natural, and I had no trouble understanding it. The score was warm and distinctive.

Effects also seemed realistic and adequate for the tasks at hand. This was a better than expected mix for a character drama.

As we head to extras, we open with an audio commentary from writer/director Anthony Minghella. He offers a running, screen-specific look at story and characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, photography, music, and other elements.

When I first screened this commentary in 2000, I really liked it, as I thought Minghella offered a ton of insight into his film. 20 years later, I still find the track to bring useful material, but it doesn’t impress me quite as much.

Like I noted in 2000, Minghella provides more of an “audio essay” than a traditional nuts and bolts discussion. While that means useful insights, it also leaves us with Minghella in “narrator mode” a little too often, as the track occasionally devolves into a basic recitation of what we see onscreen.

Still, one should regard that as a fairly minor complain, for Minghella usually provides worthwhile observations. Though not the great commentary I believed it to be 20 years ago, this still turns into a solid chat.

A few featurettes follow, and Inside The Talented Mr. Ripley runs 22 minutes, 34 seconds. It brings notes from Minghella, producers Tom Sternberg and William Horberg, executive producer Sydney Pollack, and actors Matt Damon, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

“Inside” looks at story and characters, cast and performances, period details, sets and locations, music, and Minghella’s impact on the production. While we find some decent notes, “Inside” mainly exists as a promo piece, so don’t expect much depth from it.

Reflections on The Talented Mr. Ripley spans 14 minutes, 42 seconds and includes remarks from Minghella, Damon, Law, Blanchett, and Hoffman.

With “Reflections”, we get more thoughts about story/characters and cast/performances. Like “Inside”, occasional insights result, but the overall impact remains fluffy.

In addition to two trailers, the disc concludes with Making of the Soundtrack. It lasts eight minutes, 25 seconds and features info from Minghella, Damon, and composer Gabriel Yared.

As expected, “Soundtrack” looks at aspects of the film’s music. Though it offers a bit more substance than the other two featurettes, it never gives us a lot of worthwhile material.

A taut character-based thriller, The Talented Mr. Ripley fires on all cylinders. Blessed with an excellent cast and fine execution, the movie delivers a strong cinematic experience. The Blu-ray offers solid picture and audio along with a few bonus materials. Ripley holds up after more than 20 years.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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