THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY
As a novelist and screenwriter (Hitchcock's STRANGE RS ON A TRAIN), Patricia Highsmith had a remarkable sensitivity for the way people and their inner lives-their motives and desires-interrelate and compete. Anthony Minghella , whose lush, novelistic films were also sensitive to the circumstantial underpinnings of human relationships, once told The New York Times'. "One of the curiosities con be the differences, rather than the similarities, between people walking down the street-differences in expectation and privilege, in wealth and opportunity." Thus, Minghella's adaptation of Highsmith's first novel about the criminal exploits of the charismatic Tom Ripley (played by Matt Damon) is a study in repressed and possessive desires, class barriers and the doors that selectively open to those in advantageous positions. Presenting himself as o colleague of affluent playboy Dickie Greenleaf (Jude law), the ordinary, chameleon-like Ripley spontaneously and systematically attempts to absorb Greenleaf's personality and life of privilege. Building tension between its dark, labyrinthine plot and its breezy, sun-dappled, Mediterranean setting, Minghello highlights the pathological undercurrents of his protagonist with considerable help from his talented cast, which includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Cate Blanchett.