The Talented Mr. Ripley - 7 stars out of 10
“The Talented Mr. Ripley” is one of the films that got me interested in “real movies.” It was during that phase in high school when I began to shy away from Adam Sandler comedies and discovered the sophistication of films like “The Silence of the Lambs.” While this certainly is not Matt Damon’s finest performance, his character transformation (literally and figuratively) is a must-see for every movie fan. The filmmakers could have opted to tell this story in modern times but instead, they make great use of the 1950’s atmosphere in which the original novel was written. The jazz is hot, the Italian countryside is vivid, and while the story drags on at points, it will take you down a path that you never see coming. The thing that keeps me coming back to this film is the strong qualities of each character, particularly the softspokenness of Damon, the fickle-mindedness of Jude Law, and the extreme arrogance of Philip Seymour Hoffman. These polarizing characteristics work against each other to create the moments that will leave your jaw on the floor. Once the unexpected truth about Tom Ripley is revealed, the movie turns itself on its head and is sure to have you fascinated. Between the unpredictability of the story and the strong acting (which includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, and Jack Davenport), you won’t be able to help smiling at the darkest moments of the film.