Anthony Minghella 1954 -2008

When I was in college, I had a huge crush on Ralph Fiennes. Huge, as in I would go out of my way to watch every movie he was in. And this was in the late 90s when art films were hard to come by. Either you go to Video 48 or search every ACA Video store to find what you are looking for.

But I loved Ralph Fiennes best in Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient. l simply loved the movie. I think I’ve seen it more than five times and for several years it was my Christmas vacation movie. I so loved it that in the end I also became a fan of Anthony Minghella.

I think first and foremost Minghella was a writer, which was quite evident in his films. His screenplays were nuanced and his characters were always complex whether they are in the grips of love (Almasy, The English Patient) or aspiring to be someone else (Ripley, The Talented Mr. Ripley). Minghella was never the type who would simplify things. Volumes are said in a single glance or a twitch of an eye. When Almasy first met Katherine, the woman with whom he would have an affair with, they talked about books but they could very well be talking about themselves.

“I’ve never read anyone who used so few adjectives,” she told him.

“A red car, a blue car, it’s still a car,” he said.

To which she replied: “Platonic love, romantic love…”

Almasy, who never cared for countries and sovereignties, was, in the end, suspected of being first, a German, and eventually, a British. Katherine, on the other hand, betrayed her husband, who she loved more as a friend than a husband, with someone that she deeply and truly loves.

His other films were “Breaking and Entering,” “Mr. Wonderful,” and “Truly, Deeply, Madly.”


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