Requested by Anna

Please talk more about The Talented Mr Ripley - what do you like most about it?

Great question, @nantea
  1. There's just so much to like. But I think it boils down to one line of dialogue from Tom Ripley:
    "No matter what you do, no matter how awful, no one thinks that they're a bad person."
  2. In The Talented Mr. Ripley, everyone has their reasons.
    The movie could get by just being the story of a sociopathic con man. Instead it's about a empty person who finds his humanity by taking it from others. A fine line, maybe. But somehow I root for both Ripley to get away with murder, and for everyone else to catch him.
  3. The script by director Anthony Minghella expands most of the book's characters, even inventing Cate Blanchett's character.
    Ripley kills Dickie Greenleaf, but he already told Blanchett he IS Greenleaf.
  4. Her character Meredith Logue is a brilliant creation: At first she's Ripley's only real friend, then his greatest threat, and finally, his escape.
  5. And the whole rest of the cast is tip top.
  6. It would be easy to play Dickie Greenleaf as a douchebag, but from Jude Law, he's kind of an okay guy. (Kind of. No one's saying he doesn't do bad stuff. But as written and acted, you can see why Greenleaf has gathered such a web of loyal friends. In the world of the story, he is a living movie star, and everyone wants to be around him.)
    Or in Ripley's case, be him.
  7. Gwyneth's Paltrow's Marge Sherwood is also very well-drawn. She's so kind and generous. She's almost a mother to the lost Ripley.
    Her scenes after Dickie's murder (Ripley told her he left her for someone else) are great depictions of post-break-up confusion.
  8. Phillip Seymour Hoffman just plain had fun with the role of Freddie.
    Yet he's the low key savviest member of the group. You think he's just going to drink his way through the movie, but Freddie is onto Ripley right away.
  9. Matt Damon, so engaging an actor the whole world paid to watch him alone on Mars . . .
  10. . . . shows a completely different side of himself as Tom Ripley. He seems both clueless and ten steps ahead of everyone else. Most villains are over the top or totally blank. Damon's Tom Ripley is a calm lake on a sunny day, but you look over the side of the boat and think, shouldn't we be able to see the bottom so close to shore?
    Maybe his best work.
  11. Some would call it a failing, but for me, Ripley's flat rendition of "My Funny Valentine" makes the movie, and Damon's performance.
    Ripley can't sing like Dickie Greenleaf, but the sheer act of trying to take over the man's life has filled him with such courage and a kind of awkward joy (and love, too; Ripley finds direction for a lot of feelings he's denied for a long time, it feels like) that Ripley has to express it all somehow, and this song is the way. No one will give Matt Damon a record contract, but this is the happiest Tom Ripley gets in the whole movie.
  12. All this listing makes me want to go see it again.
    Thanks for the LR, @nantea !