Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Anthony Minghella (1954-2008)

Very sad news, Anthony Minghella, writer, director, producer died today. The multi-hyphenate, multi-talented Minghella is known mostly epic romantic sagas The English Patient and Cold Mountain. Other films include Truly, Madly, Deeply (which I sadly haven't seen yet), Mr. Wonderful, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Breaking and Entering. So we have this man responsible for Jude Law's best performances. Minghella won the Oscar for The English Patient and deserved at the least another nomination for Ripley, my personal favorite of his films. The elegant production design, jazzy score, and beautiful Italian locales provided the eye candy, but the haunting grace and hypnotic suspense is truly breathtaking. He guided Matt Damon, Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Cate Blanchett to terrific performances, and made a modern thriller, in pure-Hitchcockian beats. The film, an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel, did decent enough box office and scored a few Oscar nominations, but it still saddens me that the film, however rough, never caught on more so. Sad news indeed.

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