ENGLISH PATIENT, THE
Primarily about four strangers whose diverse lives become
inextricably connected. The story is told largely through the
eyes of an unknown English patient, the sole survivor of a plane
shot down near the beginning of World War II, his mind is awash
with a life's worth of secrets and passions. As tales of the past
and present unfold, the characters reveal themselves to one
another and two love stories emerge. Their dangerous journeys
from Cairo through the Sahara take them toward the conclusion in
an abandoned Italian monastery at the close of the war.
"Adaptations from novels are perhaps
the trickiest of cinema’s forms, the internal lives so hard
to capture on screen, yet so crucial for the transition to work.
Here, the teamwork of producer, writer and cast brings it off
with grace, guts and a gorgeous look.
John Seale’s camera
work is Oscar winning. The complex layers of Ondaatje’s
novel are well represented, giving us a satisfying, emotionally
rewarding journey of yes, epic, proportions.
Epic because it
criss-crosses so much of the human condition on various levels:
from the intimate to the international, from the depths of pain
to the heights of passion, all of it done with subtlety and
understatement - yet to maximum effect. Minghella, too, has done
Oscar winning work here."
Andrew L. Urban
This masterful piece of cinema
showcases the talents of some of the screen’s best. There is
a certain edge of unpredictability and almost danger to Ralph
Fiennes, actor extraordinaire. His Hungarian Count is accessible,
yet complex, and there is always an undercurrent that flaunts us
with the knowledge how much more there is to this extraordinary
This is truly a great performance. Kristin Scott Thomas is
a wonderful complement to Fiennes, while Juliette Binoche’s
soul seems to shine through with her strength, her sadness, her
compassion and her joy.
Australian cinematographer John Seale
artistically and skillfully takes us to exotic and spectacular
locations in Italy and Africa, the latter being etched forever in
the mind’s eye.
This is a film about love and hate, loyalty
and betrayal, passion, honesty and deceit. Emotions are
masterfully taken on an emotional roller-coaster ride, and
returned feeling totally satisfied at its conclusion."
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ENGLISH PATIENT, THE (M)
CAST: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette
Binoche, Kristin Scott Thomas, Willem Defoe, Naveen Andrews,
Colin Firth, Jurgen Prochnow; directed by Anthony Minghella
WRITER & DIRECTOR: Anthony
Minghella (based on Michael Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning
PRODUCER: Saul Zaentz
CINEMATOGRAPHER: John Seale
RUNNING TIME: 160 mins
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 6
Academy Awards 1997: Best Film, Best Director, Best Costumes, Best Editing, Best Adapted Script, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Original Score. Golden Globe Awards 1997:
Best Picture (Drama); Best Score
VIDEO RELEASE: January 10, 2000
VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment