Ralph Fiennes as the Count Almasy

Oh Swoon We Must!

The English Patient's heated passion is like a pot of tea left under a tea cozy for just the right amount of time on a Saturday afternoon in Sussex. Fiennes as the Hungarian Count Almasy reminds one of a Hungry Man Swanson dinner, big, inviting and filled with meat. Juliette Binoche gives us a Hana so ethereal as to remind one of cotton candy at a circus where the bigtop has tragically burned to the ground. Willem DeFoe, thumbless as a pre-evolutionary creature that has just crawled from the muck, startles, yet reassures. Kristin Scott Thomas, a woman of three names, plays Katherine like a cool corpse on a hot summers day.

All in all, The English Patient is like a plane with a full tank of gas flying over the desert by moonlight.

As we know, the devil is in the details and the details of The English Patient are as finely crafted as a bone china teacup. In what will undoubtedly become known as THE bathtub scene with Fiennes and Scott-Thomas, we can see the shimmering surface of the water ripple, just like the shimmering lives of these two characters as they come togther in a volcanic eruption of passion. You will swear that you can see the lava flow. The relationship of Hana and Kip, is more subdued. Where Katherine and Almasy are like a volcanic eruption, Hana and Kip are a bicycle ride through a summer field of wildflowers, fresh and beautiful, though in the end you might sneeze from the scent. Of course there still is the brooding image of the thumbless Caravaggio, who stands like a butcher with bad aim. A man who has missed the chop, only to dethumb himself, left alone to watch the action, knowing the tragic end that awaits the two pairs of lovers.

In the end you will laugh, you will weep, you will decry the injustice of the world and thrill to the sights of doomed lovers in The English Patient.

And now for the moment you've been waiting for. The Really Important Films rating of The English Patient. Now that the review has been written I went to see the film, twice and after the second viewing have decided to give it:

Four out of Four Camels and I actually saw this film more than once! The English Patient is a movie that will satisfy for the long haul. Go see it.

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Anthony Minghella: Oscar winning directer and TEP screenwriter talks about his masterpiece!

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