The Talented Mr Ripley
The Talented Mr. Ripley is a novel by Patricia Highsmith, published in 1955. It is also the title of a 1999 feature film based on the novel and directed by Anthony Minghella. more...
Highsmith won an Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America for this novel, which first introduced the character of Tom Ripley. She would return in the novels Ripley Under Ground, Ripley's Game, The Boy Who Followed Ripley and Ripley Underwater
The Talented Mr Ripley was first filmed as Plein Soleil (also known as Purple Noon) in 1960. It was directed by Rene Clement and starred Alain Delon as Ripley.
The 1999 film version, The Talented Mr. Ripley, had the full title of The Mysterious Yearning Secretive Sad Lonely Troubled Confused Loving Musical Gifted Intelligent Beautiful Tender Sensitive Haunted Passionate Talented Mr. Ripley. This version starred Matt Damon as Ripley, Gwyneth Paltrow as Marge Sherwood, Jude Law as Dickie Greenleaf, Cate Blanchett as Meredith Logue (a character created for the film), Philip Seymour Hoffman as Freddie Miles, Jack Davenport as Peter Smith-Kingsley (also created for the film) and James Rebhorn as Herbert Greenleaf.
It was filmed mainly in Italy with famous landmarks in the cities of Rome and Venice being used as a backdrop for the narrative. An opera scene features the duel between Lensky and Onegin from Eugene Onegin.
Academy Award nominations
It received Academy Award nominations in the following categories:
- Best Supporting Actor - Jude Law
- Best Art Decoration - Roy Walker and Bruno Cesari
- Best Costume Design - Ann Roth and Gary Jones
- Best Original Score - Gabriel Yared
- Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published - Anthony Minghella
The plot of the novel
Tom Ripley was a young man struggling to make a living in New York City, with no prospects but with a talent to survive by doing whatever is required. When approached by the wealthy Herbert Greenleaf to travel to Italy to persuade Greenleaf's errant son, Dickie, to return to the United States and assume his responsibilities, Ripley sees this as an opportunity. Shortly after his arrival in Italy, he meets Greenleaf and his girlfriend Marge Sherwood, and quickly insinuates himself into their lives. An old friend, Freddie Miles comes for a visit, and is immediately suspicious of Ripley's motives. His presence shatters Ripley's idyll and causes him to be pushed aside.
While Ripley blames Freddie for this, it becomes clear that Greenleaf has made his own decision. Greenleaf has a reputation for discarding people when he has grown tired of them, and he begins to resent Ripley's constant presence and growing dependence. Ripley's own feelings are complicated by his desire to maintain the new wealthy lifestyle Greenleaf has afforded him, and by his growing attraction to Greenleaf. The two men travel away together for a holiday but when Greenleaf finally confronts Ripley and tells him he'll be returning him the USA after the holiday, Ripley begins to make plans. The two hire a small boat, and Ripley murders Greenleaf onboard, then sinking the boat containing the body.
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