Sunday, November 01, 2015

The Talented Mr. Ripley

(1999) ****

Tom Ripley is a peaceful piano tuner/player in New York City in the 1950s.  After a performance one afternoon, the wealthy shipping magnate, Mr. Greenleaf notices Tom's Princeton blazer, and assumes Tom must be friends with his son, Dickie, who is living the life of luxury in Italy and refuses to come home.  Mr. Greenleaf wants his son to return home.  He could just cut off his son's allowance, but instead, he asks this nice piano player to go to Italy and convince him that working in NYC is way better than luxury on the Italian coast.  Rather than do so, Ripley ends up enjoying Italy so much that he decides to stay there and spin a web of lies intricate enough to be bank rolled and stay forever.

The Talented Mr. Ripley is a fantastic psychological thriller that shows off the young talents of Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  Just look how cute they were 16 years ago...

Actually, Paltrow looks exactly the same.  Funny.

Damon's performance as a killer is disturbing.  It never seems as though he intends to kill.  He backs himself into corners where his lies become so tangled that murder becomes his only option.  Of all the serial killer movies out there, this is one where the murderer is genuinely disturbed by his actions. The scene where he lays and spoons with his first victim as he bleeds out is chilling.  Wonderful acting, beautifully shot on location throughout Italy, but loses a star for what frankly, is a ridiculous opening premise as noted above.


AC said...

I enjoyed the book but somehow have never seen the movie. Glad to hear it delivers!

Catfreeek said...

I've never seen this either. I think the title threw me I always thought it was a drama.

Octopunk said...

I've always liked this movie. Damon plays the perfect not-quite-sociopath and I think this is Gwyneth Paltrow's best performance.