The Talented Mr. Ripley isn’t the perfect suspense-drama and could have been so much better with a cast consisting of Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and Cate Blanchett and with Anthony Minghella at the helm, but it still has some superb moments.
Genre(s): Drama, Suspense
Warner Bros. | R – 138 min. – $19.98 | September 10, 2013
Directed by: Anthony Minghella
Writer(s): Patricia Highsmith (book); Anthony Minghella (screenplay)
Cast: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jack Davenport, James Rebhorn, Philip Baker Hall
Theatrical Release Date: December 25, 1999
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Theatrical Trailers
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 34.6 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C (unconfirmed)
THE MOVIE – 3.75/5
Plot Outline: Tom Ripley (MATT DAMON) is a calculating young man who believes it’s better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody. Opportunity knocks in the form of a wealthy American shipbuilder who hires Tom to travel to Italy to bring back his playboy son, Dickie (JUDE LAW). Ripley worms his way into the idyllic lives of Dickie and his girlfriend (GWYNETH PALTROW), plunging into a daring scheme of duplicity, lies and murder.
Quick Hit Review: Directed by Anthony Minghella, The Talented Mr. Ripley heavily relies on the performance of Matt Damon who is absolutely mesmerizing seeing him transform in and out each of his character’s personas with ease. Jude Law is perfectly cast as a magnetic yet also cruel personality whom Ripley, and in turn the audience, is drawn towards and Gwyneth Paltrow, probably the only good person in this film, delivers one of her better performances. The film also boasts a respectable supporting cast from Cate Blanchett to Philip Seymour Hoffman, albeit still playing his bullish entitled character we’ve seen numerous times in the late 90s and early 00s, as well as Jack Davenport and James Rebhorn.
Although not a perfect film, as it does drag a bit during its lengthy 130-minute running time, beyond the acting the Italian scenery is beautifully captured by cinematographer John Seale (The English Patient, Cold Mountain) and the jazzy soundtrack really sets the right mood.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5
All the features from the DVD have been ported over:
Audio Commentary by Screenwriter/Director Anthony Minghella
Inside The Talented Mr. Ripley (22:34; SD) and Reflections on The Talented Mr. Ripley (14:42; SD) are your basic EPK featurettes with on-set or promotional interviews with the cast and crew talking about their characters and the plot. “Inside” featurette offers some behind-the-scenes footage but the overly dramatic voice over (from the guy who did the trailer voice) is annoying.
Also included is a Making of the Soundtrack (8:25; SD) featurette, a Teaser Trailer (2:10; SD) and Theatrical Trailer (2:34; SD).
VIDEO – 4.0/5
Debuting on Blu-ray courtesy of Warner Brothers, via Paramount, The Talented Mr. Ripley doesn’t look half bad with the 1080p high-def transfer and presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio (originally 1.85 in theaters). However, although the picture does look fine and it doesn’t appear DNR was used, there are some scenes which have an almost splotchy look. That being said, the black levels are quite stark and show no artifacting or dust marks. It’s a clean enough picture and certainly better than the SD release.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
The disc includes a masterful 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track which has wonderful depth throughout. Dialogue levels are very easy to understand and the ambient noises make use of the front and rear tracks anyway. What especially pops is Gabriel Yard’s amazing score as well as the albums which contain several jazz tracks.
OVERALL – 3.25/5
Overall, The Talented Mr. Ripley isn’t the perfect suspense-drama and could have been so much better with a cast consisting of Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and Cate Blanchett and with Anthony Minghella at the helm, but it still has some superb moments. The Blu-ray released by Warner Bros. offers all the features from the DVD version and respectable audio/video transfers.