A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #45: Ripley vs Ripley – who’s the most talented?

For our June episode, we’re sending the cultural baristas on a holiday in sunny Mongibello, Italy, where rich, pretty young ex-pats spend their time and money on the beach – though there are others who may be less harmless… Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel The Talented Mr Ripley was turned into two films: René Clément’s Plein Soleil (released as Purple Noon in the English-speaking world, in spite of a distinct absence of purple-hued noons), starring a young Alain Delon, and Anthony Minghella’s 1999 adaptation, which took the title from Highsmith’s book, featuring Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow. Ripley is a fascinating character, a sociopath reflecting the identities of those around him back at them, and it’s fascinating to compare these two very different interpretations of the character. Join Sam, Julie and Matt as they sail the treacherous waters of the mid-20th century Mediterranean and compare the talents of the various Messrs Ripley!

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Before the devil knows you’re dead

Anthony Minghella

I was planning to write an entry today on John Sayles’ Limbo, but that has to wait until tomorrow or the day after. Since my browser start page is BBC news, I’ve just read that Anthony Minghella has died. I’ve written about his films before (e.g. here and here); I liked many of the films I’d seen that he’d directed, and those I didn’t like I still appreciated. He knew how to work with actors that I didn’t particularly like (such as Gwyneth Paltrow or Robin Wright Penn). And he directed the film that convinced me that Alan Rickman wasn’t Evil(tm):

A Life in Pictures: Anthony Minghella. Rest in peace.