The English Patient
(1996)

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Come to Dorset

 

Director:                         Anthony Minghella
Producer:                       Saul Zaentz
Executive Producers:    Scott Greenstein, Bob and Harvey Weinstein
Script:                             Anthony Minghella-  From the novel by Michael Ondaatje
Cinematography:          John Seale
Art Direction:                 Aurelio Crugnola
Production Design:       Stuart Craig
Editing:                           Walter Murch
Original Music:               Gabriel Yared

Gabriel Yared - Main Title - The English Patient [to save right click]

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Essentially a story about a wounded archaeologist during the second world war who ends up in occupied Italy. The story is told half in flashbacks, half in present tense, with the beginning a sort of bridge between the two: Story one, Juliette Binoche's nurse caring for the English Patient, begins at the end of Story two, where Ralph Fiennes (on an expedition in the desert) falls madly in love with a married woman (Kristin Scott Thomas). Later, Story three also interweaves with one and two , telling of Willem Dafoe's bitter thief and his connection with the English Patient. This storytelling device is probably what makes the movie brilliant. 

Despite its technical brilliance, it is the films examination of emotions that gives it its heart. The characters are fascinating and much of this such be attributed to the original book by Michael Ondaatje and the brilliant screenplay.  No one here can be called a caricature and while you may not understand everything they do, part of the fun is piecing together their actions into complex individuals.

The best performances were turned in by Ralph Fiennes as Almasy and by Kristin Scott-Thomas as Katharine. Katharine was the perfect foil for the silent, brooding Almasy...the one woman in the world who could get him to open up, to live life, to love, for Almasy is a man who keeps much of himself, to himself. But when he does give himself, he gives all and he gives forever.

Juliette Binoche was wonderful as the sensitive, emotionally damaged Hana, but her character, in both the book and the movie was underdeveloped. Binoche, a beautiful and sensitive actress did all she could with it and the result was at least satisfactory. , Naveen Andrews also struggled with a slightly underdeveloped role as Kip the Indian bomb disposer. This best seen was the Rudyard Kipling debate with Fiennes.

 

 

 

 
 

                           

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The English patient