English Patient
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Product Description

Winner of 9 Academy Awards(R), including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress (Juliette Binoche), this unforgettable story is the motion picture event of the year! During World War II, when a mysterious stranger (Ralph Fiennes -- SCHINDLER'S LIST) is rescued from a fiery plane crash, he is cared for by American allies unaware of the dangerous secrets of his past. Yet, as the mystery of his identity is slowly revealed, an incredible tale of passion, intrigue, and adventure unfolds! Also starring Kristin Scott Thomas (FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL) and Willem Dafoe (CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER), THE ENGLISH PATIENT is a powerful cinematic triumph sure to entertain you!

Winner of nine Academy Awards and almost every critic's heart, The English Patient (based on Michael Ondaatje's prizewinning novel of love and loss during World War?II) is one of the most acclaimed films of modern times. Hana, a nurse (Juliette Binoche), tends to an archaeologist (Ralph Fiennes) who has been burnt to a crisp in a plane crash. As their relationship intensifies, he flashes back to his overwhelming passion for a married woman (Kristin Scott Thomas). Meanwhile, Hana begins a new romance with a man who defuses bombs (Naveen Andrews) and Willem Dafoe almost steals the show as the thumbless thief Caravaggio. The intricately layered flashback narrative, sounding the depths of the lovers' hearts, improves with repeated viewings--especially with the sharp picture and digital sound of the digital video disc.

Customer Reviews:

  • My favorite movie
    The English Patient is my favorite movie, and I eagerly jumped on this special Collectors Edition when I found it. I love the extras, my only complaint is that I would have loved a commentary track or just more special features including the actors.
    I am an actress myself, and interested in the choices that Kristin Scott Thomas and Ralph Fiennes seemed to make so effortlessly. Some commentary from them would give the extras here some balance (as it is, most of the commentary and extras are focused on the direction and writing.)

    Either way, the movie is great and the extras aren't too bad....more info
  • "The English Patient" is several cuts above average
    This movie has some quite beautiful moments and was quite enjoyable. Some people will complain that it is too slow, and it certainly will be for those who prefer drama of the "Rambo" or Steven Seagal genre or are otherwise unable to appreciate some of its subtleties. I've heard at least one reviewer complain that the main characters are 'narcissistic' and self-absorbed because they're not worried about the global political implications of their actions or because they are unable to perform the morally correct actions on cue - I'm not sure whether to laugh at this comment or feel pity for the empty life of the person who would make it.

    One warning - this film has a strong 'chick flick' component, and some of the overwrought mawkishness of the latter parts of the movie does detract from what are some truly scintillatingly subtle moments, such as when Count Alm®Ęsy tries to warn Katherine's husband about leaving her with the team in the desert. What a great, great scene.

    This movie does not glorify adultery. An accurate portrayal of the passions that produce such a liaison should not be confused with sympathy - such portrayals should be viewed as an explanation, not an excuse. The fact that this illicit love affair ends up destroying everyone that Katherine and Count Alm®Ęsy hold dear, before it ends up consuming both of them as well should be enough for anyone looking for a morally correct result.



    ...more info
  • Touching and Timeless
    This is probably one of the greatest dramatic films I've ever seen- it is masterful in every way: cinematography, soundtrack, storyline.. a real masterpiece.

    That being said, I'd like to address some of the critics on here and offer my thoughts. I'll admit you do have to be in the right mood for this movie, or it can drag on a bit. However, if you're willing to be patient, you'll find a beautiful collage of scenery, music, and truly fine acting especially by Ralph Fiennes and William Dafoe.

    To those who say this movie is demented or silly because it glorifies adultery and the selfish whims of two morally debase people, I say you're missing the point. I think the story of the English Patient is a tragedy in the truest since of the word. Here is a guy who, like so many of us, indulged in a folly that cost him dearly. What's so sad to me is that he's so burned and mangled, all he's left with are these memories, with no way to fix it, no way to truly repent, except by confiding in his nurse. I think the main message of this film is the pain of regret. Fiennes character falls for his friend and colleagues wife, and ultimately wrecks his own life.

    For those viewers that can relate to their own regrettable actions in the past, when they were maybe younger or more foolish, I think this movie really hits close to home....more info
  • Elaine Bennes was right
    This movie is long, ponderous and boring. I give it three stars only because it won best picture so it would be presumptous of me to give it less. After having seen the Seinfeld episode, several times, in which Elaine hates "The English Patient" and is stuck seeing it with her boss, Peterman, I finally decided to see it myself on dvd. Elaine's review quoted from the Seinfeld script, is much better than any I could write so, here it is:

    [Outside Movie Theatre]

    Elaine and Blaine emerge from the exit, having seen The English Patient.

    ELAINE: (very dissatisfied) Why is everyone talking about "The English Patient, it's so romantic". (vehement) God, that movie stunk!

    BLAINE: I kinda liked it.

    ELAINE: (firm) No you didn't.

    From the exit emerge several of Elaine's friends, who hurry over to see her. They're all holding tissues.

    CAROL: Elaine. Elaine, did you just see The English Patient?

    GAIL: (tearful) Didn't you love it?

    LISA: How could you not love that movie?

    ELAINE: How about, it sucked?

    CAROL: That Ralph Fiennes, I would give up my firstborn for him.

    ELAINE: (aside) Huhh, getting the short end of that stick.

    Blaine gives Elaine a strange look.

    LATER, ELAINE IS DISCUSSING THE MOVIE AT MONK'S:
    [Monk's]

    An unhappy Elaine sits at the counter as the waitress pours her coffee.

    WAITRESS: Rough night?

    ELAINE: Ugh. You wouldn't believe it. My boyfriend dumped me. My friends, who
    I don't even like, they won't talk to me. (face-pulling) All because I don't
    like that stupid English Patient movie.

    WAITRESS: Really? I thought it was pretty good.

    ELAINE: Oh, come on. Good? What was good about it? (scoffs) Those sex scenes! I mean, please! Gimme something I can use!

    WAITRESS: (sour) Well, I liked it.

    The waitress takes the coffee pot and walks away into the back.

    ELAINE: (calling after) Hey. You forgot about my piece of pie. Hello?
    (irritated) You know, sex in a tub. That doesn't work!


    LATER, ELAINE IS STUCK, WITH HER BOSS, SEEING THE MOVIE AGAIN:

    [Movie Theatre]

    Peterman and Elaine are still in front of The English Patient. Peterman stares, enraptured, at the screen. Elaine is totally frantic with boredom.

    PETERMAN: Elaine, I hope you're watching the clothes, because I can't take my eyes off the passion.

    ELAINE: (quiet vehemence) Oh. No. I can't do this any more. I can't. It's too long. (to the screen) Quit telling your stupid story, about the stupid desert, and just die already! (louder) Die!!

    The other movie patrons turn and shush Elaine, who sits back in her seat.

    PETERMAN: (surprised) Elaine. You don't like the movie?

    ELAINE: (shouts) I hate it!!

    CROWD: Shh!

    ELAINE: (shouts) Oh, go to hell!!

    THANKS ELAINE, THAT IN A NUTSHELL IS MY REVIEW.

    ...more info
  • Fabulous movie
    I love this movie! Great acting, scenery, and love story! Ralph Fiennes is so hot, too!...more info
  • entertaining, but not classic
    this film is the epitome of hollywood : so much emphasis on the sensory experience but below average in content. This is the type of movie that fools the simple minded american mainstream consumer into the feeling that this is supposed to be some great epic. The symphonic music combined with the scenery, camerawork, and make-up all titillate the senses. To the intelligent mind, however, so often this movie lacks depth and poignancy. The characters speak in lovely articulate queen's english, but the actual statements are unremarkable.

    The whole movie is centered around that favorite Hollywood theme - the husband is uncharismatic and lacks charm, so he loses his woman to the good looking, charming star of the movie. In this case it is unbridled infidelity that the director assumes the audience will condone. Other Hollywood mainstays occur : the portrayal of the German as the stiff lipped Aryan beast that deserves nothing but eternal damnation and the British aristocrat who seems indifferent to any suffering. There are various white peasants being manhandled by Germans in the middle of Cairo. I guess these are supposed to be Jews stuck in egypt that are suffering quietly in the background. The whole movie is quite contrived. I think this won best picture?? There are definitely worse movies, but this is overrated...more info
  • Borefest not much here don't waste your time
    Movie started out great, got me excited, the first 30 minutes was good. Then all of the sudden, boring and trite plot and subplot making me want to walk out of the movie all together. ...more info
  • Oasis in the Desert
    "The English Patient" is a curate's egg among the Academy Awards. It's an artistically beautiful,sensual film though at times it's slow and bogs down. It has a talented ensemble cast,and lush settings in the North African desert and the Tuscan countryside.

    A nurse,Hana (Juliette Binoche) finds a terribly burnt Hungarian nobleman,Laszlo Almasy (Ralph Fiennes) At the same time,she is caring for a thumbless artist,Caravaggio (Willem Dafoe),and has met a handsome Sikh (Naveen Andrews) While she reveals Renaissance murals, she also gradually reveals connections among the men she cares for. On a mapmaking expedition,Almasy fell for a beautiful married woman (Kristin Scott Thomas,with Colin Firth as her husband) They carried on a brief,passionate affair. Like a mirage,it faded. Their affair was an oasis for their hearts. Soon, they are stranded in the desert. She is dying; he looks for help.

    "The English Patient" shows the consequences of marital betrayal--not only does Almasy lead a woman to betray her husband (and he his friend&colleague),he also betrays his country by collaborating with the Germans. It comes at a great personal cost. He is horribly disfigured,his body reflecting his soul. His adultery isn't rewarded. Caravaggio realizes,to his horror,that Almasy's actions led to him being tortured by a German commandant (Jurgen Prochnow)

    "The English Patient" is a masterpiece in its own way. It has spectacular settings, wonderful acting. In other ways,it's bland and forgettable. It's a Lifetime channel for women movie in Northern Africa and Tuscany....more info
  • great movie
    people who complain about this movie have very short attention spans... that or they cant seem to comprehend the stupidity in conforming with a fictional character from a cheesy pathetic sitcom (seinfield). ohhh please... people who watch seinfield should be shot.

    great cinematography, great sound track, great acting.

    and no im not fond of the movie Titanic... and no, i wont bit&h about it either. ...more info
  • Unbearably bad movie
    If you are a Seinfeld fan you may recall that Elaine preferred to be fired rather than watch this wretched movie. I fully understand Elaine's choice. It is not simply that this movie is slow, it is that it is bad and slow, a combination that eats at your very soul. I made it to the 55 minute mark and am still amazed that I was able to accomplish that. A large part of the problem here is that none of the characters you meet are to any degree likable. Nor are they interesting.

    With many movies I do not enjoy, I can nonetheless ascertain why people enjoy them. I can even understand why people like Titanic, but I have no idea why anyone likes this movie....more info
  • Incredibly BORING AND SLOW!
    I HATED this film. To quote a reviewer who actually liked it:

    "Through flashbacks, the filmmakers slowly unravel the secrets of the burned man: who he is and his past."

    The operative word here is SLOWLY. To make matters worse, it wasn't even a love story. Since when is going after your own selfish desires at the expense of others love? It is one of the worst films I have ever had the misfortune to see. Trying to romanticize these people's selfish behavior did NOT work. I felt no sympathy for the English patient or his lover. The Bridges of Madison County was much better -- at least you could sympathize with the characters, unlike this film. So many of the scenes were so long and drawn out I nearly fell asleep. The plot was not hard to follow, it was just boring! I don't need a lot of action in a film. I do need a story that will hold my interest. This did not. Don't waste your time on this extremely bad film. ...more info
  • Selfish, shallow people
    I watched this movie again, wanting to like it. Wanting to see the romance and beauty in it. Wanting to believe the good reviews and all of the hype. It was even worse the second time. At least it was on television, so I didn't have to fork out money again to watch in a theatre like I did the first time.

    The two main characters are shallow and completely unlikeable. There is absolutely nothing redeeming in their personalities. She has as much depth as a cardboard cutout, and he is a maudlin, nasty human being. Yet we are expected to believe that their groping is romantic and root for them. Colin Firth plays her husband as a nice man. The scene where he sees her sneaking out to meet him after planning an anniversary surprise for her is heartbreaking - a decent man who they drive to murder/suicide. At least he is sympathetic, unlike the two pretty, plastic people. I agree with Elaine Bennes on Seinfeld - die already.

    The relationship between Hana and Kip was one of the few nice features of the movie. There was an honesty and likeability about the two of them, a stark contrast to the two detestable leads. I also liked the Carravagio character. At least there was some depth there, even though he is a liar and thief.

    Just as an aside, the Count is very loosely based on a real person. The "romance" never happened with a woman. The real count was homosexual and died of dysentery in a hospital in Salzberg. He was never in a crash. He was respected by Rommel for being a good desert guide to the Germans.

    I am giving it one star because the cinemetography is great and it was well acted....more info
  • Great film, but not as good as Fargo (#$%@ you Academy!)
    Genre: Drama, Romance

    Genre Grade: A-

    Final Grade: A-

    This was a great love story, definitely one that achieved "classic" status immediately. I personally enjoyed the scenes with Kristin Scott Thomas the best, although all of the movie was good. I don't know that I have seen Juliette Binoche in any movies before, but now I'd like to see some more with her in them. She won a supporting Oscar for this film. Ralph Fiennes did a wonderful job as well.

    Some parts of this movie are somewhat boring, but if you pay close attention to the love story within the film then you won't be disappointed by the end of the movie. Director Anthony Minghella knows how to direct love stories like no one else. Although I enjoyed his more recent film, Cold Mountain, immensely more than this movie, I still thought this one was incredible.

    Honestly though, this film did NOT deserve winning the Oscar over Fargo for Best Picture. Fargo broke so many barriers and offered so many new and unique filming techniques and yet still offered an unforgettable story and superb acting from everyone in the film. The English Patient, while wonderful, does not even begin to meet that kind of level of filmmaking. I'm sorry if you disagree, but I would definitely have to argue that the Academy got it WRONG that year. ...more info
  • Stunning
    Some people can't seem to tell gold from lead, and that this movie won 9 Academy Awards says as much about the trashing reveiw(er)s that "didn't get it."

    Question: must the characters/values portrayed in a good story only be personally agreeable? Perhaps observing (vs. condemning) offers insights otherwise unavailable.

    And if Seinfeld's Elaine Bennis would rather get fired than watch "The English Patient," she probably should be.

    "The English Patient"('s) extraordinary confluence of elements: casting, directing, cinematography, music, etc., is a rare occurrence indeed - perhaps less than 1 percent of what gets produced these days....more info
  • Almost unspeakably brilliant
    No better critique of the British single-payer health care system has ever been committed to celluloid. Of particular note among the DVD extras is an alternative ending in which Laszlo de Almasy is transfered to a U.S. hospital and cured within days, and an audio commentary produced by the Brookings Institute....more info
  • The Emperor has no clothes
    A boring, slow, meandering, uninteresting, shallow story about selfish people told with a lot of money, exotic locations, period costumes, and blaring orchesteral music that fooled the critics into believing it was "supposed" to be a good movie.

    I have seen many reviews saying it was good, but I have never met anybody who enjoyed watching it or liked the story it was trying to tell.

    I think you can get a great deal of insight into what type of movie this is and who the target audience is (and decide ahead of time if this movie is for you) by reading the reviews of the people who liked it....more info
  • The heart is an organ of fire!
    Absolutely agree. Happy and wisdom statement that it constitutes the central nervous of the film. A powerful story that interweaves with impeccable edition past and present.
    The triumph of the great loves can be seen only through the ravishing Perrault stories. In the fifties Hiroshima mon amour proved once more the expected possibility to reach the absolute realization due the love.
    But the magnificent homage to Hemingway is all around the film. And you think in that ancient Frank Borzage's film Farewell to arms over and over. The nurse, extraordinarily played by the French Goddess Juliette Binoche, who won deservedly the academy Award will mean the weak link between the life and death when she decides to consecrate all her efforts for keeping alive to this mysterious man, seriously wounded after being attacked. The moral reconstruction is far beyond the delicate physical condition. This man is alive just to tell us his fatidic story. But the fascinating script engages us with other secondary characters as the implacable Wilhelm Dafoe who will follow to Fiennes according superior orders. Kristin Scott Thomas and Colin Firth will be the couple in disgrace who will conform the amorous triangle. The love scenes are filmed with admirable good taste and artistic rapture. There are not wasted lines in this running film of 155 min.
    The desert is the big frame and also another invisible actor that will untie that huge sand torment that will allow the narrow and decisive contact of these two future lovers.
    There is besides, a surreptitious homage to David Lean by double departure: A brief encounter and Lawrence of Arabia.
    This will be one of the most reminded films in the distant future. I guess the multidimensional level and Shakespearian and Wagnerian dramatic roots that sustain the whole work will consent it a special place in the Pantheon of the great films.
    Joseph Fiennes is a true giant actor. How many additional proofs do you want? After Schindler's list, we have besides Spider and The end of the affair. All the cast was simply marvelous.
    And obviously the magnificent effort of all the production team, scripters and the sumptuous art work of Minghella who, to my mind has made to date his best film and glorious masterpiece.
    ...more info
  • Old School Passion & Filmmaking
    I'm one of the people who was completely taken with THE ENGLISH PATIENT when I saw it in theatres, but was also amused when Elaine Benis on "Seinfeld" goofed on it later. Or, should I say, goofed on everyone who loved it.

    The non-linear story structure, the superb acting, the gorgeous photography, the unfolding mystery of what happened to the doomed couple--all of it hit me just right. While other people complained at the film's slow pace, I was soaking up the period details and authentic locations. I played the soundtrack CD for months afterward (and still do sometimes), finding myself lost in the distant and sometimes-haunting music.

    There were so many terrible movies in the 1990s, just mere product crafted by committee and focus groups, that the intimate--though tragic--feel of this story felt very personal and real.
    You know the couple played by Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas are in BIG trouble from the moment they meet. Just watch their eyes and expressions. Allowing a passion to spread like that has major implications on everyone around them and, in this case, also has major implicactions on a world on the brink of war.

    (One footnote: the church I attend put out a list of Top Ten Reasons to Boycott Disney shortly after the film came out. Perhaps scraping for a reason to fill out the list, number 10 was "Boycott Disney because it funds Miramax, which produced THE ENGLISH PATIENT, a film that glorifies adultery." Huh? How anyone can watch this film and believe that these characters, tormented by guilt and confusion, indulging in a passion that not only kills them all but also contributes to Nazi victories in Africa, completely escapes me.) ...more info
  • It makes your soul ache
    I doubt any viewer can legitimately criticize the acting, cinematography, score, etc. of this film. They are superb, and I regret never having seen it in a movie theater.

    The sticking point with the love it/hate it crowd is the actual storyline, or plot. I found many reviews overlook the fact that the deeply faceted love stories revolve around involutary choices. The characters helplessly succumb to their "organs of fire", their hearts, just as they helplessly suffer when their loves are lost. It is the background of WWII, though, that makes the story so rich. The film is so long because it shows how many fates are affected and sacrificed in the name of one love during a time of war. The ending is beautiful because even the bitterest characters realize theirs is not the only pain. You might say all's _unfair_ in love and war.
    So if you like stories that are about emotions and beauty, you may love this film as I do. But don't expect a patriotic war movie with the ending wrapped in a neat moral message. There are no heroes in this story, just victims. ...more info
  • Technically it is still a master piece.
    It is an interesting film, but not more than that. What does it shows? That the English were particularly sectarian during WW2 on the African front. Nothing new under the sun. Anyone who had a slightly different name or a slightly surprising or uncommon attitude was at once considered as a spy unworthy of any trust. This created myriads or even legions of misunderstandings and human errors along with cruelty, barbaric acts, violence, etc. The only interest of this film is the technical brilliance in the use of flashbacks that only happen in the head of this English patient who plays the loss of his memory to protect himself against his own name and his own ascendants. Yet his survival is not possible and the nurse who is looking after him is little by little led to being convinced by him that she has to overdose him with morphine, which she does. The sentimental elements along the way for the nurse or the Sikh bomb and mine technician are there only to provide a present time line onto which the flashbacks can be woven and attached. The acting is absolutely outstanding, even if the story is rather trite.

    Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
    ...more info
  • "The English Patien" in the nut shell. By James White
    First off:I loved this movie.I am a straight/African/American male with combat military experience.In my opinion...anyone who dose not atleast like this movie for it's cleverness ,multilayered characters,and complex plot needs to needs an education in film appreciation. People It tells the story of real life people in love during WWII.(there is an extra-maritial affair between a map maker an a married woman,the revenge bent friend of wronged husband/thumbless thief,and the nurse who discovers love in it's different aspects than just the physical(love for the title character and and a bomb difuser.Those people who can not appreciate all these elements are in need of some help.I think everyone needs a copy of this movie on DVD/Video in their movie library....more info
  • A Beautiful Painting
    This rare and beautiful film, based on a book that is felt as much as read, transcends the medium to become art. Painted on a vast desert canvas with deep rich oils, its beauty is felt as much as seen. This film will find your heart and remain there forever. If love had a face, it would look like this.

    Director Anthony Minghella's screenplay shifts the center of Michael Ondaatje's story slightly in order to capture on film the essence of his beautiful prose. Ondaatje's novel is one of poetic beauty, a potrait of a rose beneath the water's surface. The film brings that beautiful rose out of the water and into the sunlight. The book and the film are so deeply intertwined you can not watch this film without wanting to read the book, nor can you read the book without wanting to see the film. The story itself centers around three people either in love with, or haunted by ghosts they have loved and lost to war.

    Juliette Binoche gives an Oscar winning performance as Hana, a kind nurse with a gentle spirit but a damaged heart. She latches onto the burned and charred body of a man known only as the English patient, and ends up caring for him in a shell ravaged Italian villa in Tuscany where she feeds him plums and reads to him. When a man named Caravaggio with scars of his own arrives, the mystery of who the English patient really is begins to unfold via flashbacks. In the present, Hana begins to let her heart heal when she falls in love with a Sikh who disarms bombs left by the Germans.

    It is the memories of the English patient, however, which are at the heart of this film. Ralph Fiennes gives a subtle performance as the introspective Almasy, part of an international expedition mapping an unending desert with both the romance, and the danger of the sea. Kristin Scott Thomas is wonderful as Katherine Clifton, the stunningly beautiful and enigmatic wife of a fellow mapper. An instant but unspoken attraction between she and Almasy finally becomes too unbearable to ignore and the affair that holds the key to the mystery surrounding the English patient begins.

    This is one of the most romantic films ever made and is filled with the joy and anguish of love and war. It shows that while war may create logistical lines that can not be crossed, the heart has no boundaries. Anyone who has ever experienced a love of such emotional intensity and physical longing that love and need became one will understand the love affair of Katherine and Almasy.

    Cinematographer John Seale has given this film a grace and beauty seldom seen on film. A haunting score full of mystery and romance from Gabriel Yard accompany scenes never to be forgotten, and will not be described here in case you have not yet seen them. Director Anthony Minghella explores the mystery of the desert, and the heart, which according to the "The Histories" by Herodotus, a book the English patient clings to, is an organ of fire.

    If there is but one ounce of romance in your soul, you will love "The English Patient." It is a well charted and romantic map of the human heart, as wide and treacherous as the unending desert. This will be one of your favorite films once you see it. I promise....more info
  • A Masterpiece of a Time From A Bygone Era
    I don't know what film the other reviewers were watching. This, for me, as an avid filmgoer, was one of the best films of the last decade, among such other masterpieces as Jane Campion's The Piano (1993), Kaige Chen's Farewell My Concubine (1993), and Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter (1997). There certainly is an adulterous affair in the film, but when I watched it, that was not the central plot of the film. Several people, in the aftermath of World War II, each emotionally wounded and each with a painful past, become observant listeners to each other's personal stories of loss as a result of the tragic war. Count Alm®Ęsy (Ralph Fiennes) is a burned, nameless patient of Hana (Juliette Binoche), a Canadian nurse who is deeply hurt that the men whom she loved were killed in the war. Caravaggio (Willem Dafoe) is a thief who possesses mutilated hands as a result of the Nazis and seeks revenge upon all those who have wronged him. Through flashbacks, the filmmakers slowly unravel the secrets of the burned man: who he is and his past. We see that he was a Hungarian count who fell in love with a married woman, who sacrificed morality in trying to save his love, and who acknowledges the mistakes of his past. You see, this film is really about people, in the aftermath of a gruesome war, coming to terms with their inherent imperfections and mistakes as human beings. It's not about an affair and it is simply childish to trivialize this film based on politics. The original score is hauntingly beautiful as well. The acting is superb, with fine performances from Kristin Scott Thomas, Ralph Fiennes, Willem Dafoe, and in particular, Juliette Binoche.
    ...more info
  • A TIMELESS CLASSIC...in the vein of David Lean's Work
    When I talk to people about this movie, as here, now, as I try to write about it, I "freeze up"...become wary of "saying too much" and spoiling it for someone who has not yet seen it...I also become emotional, and always get the aching lump in my throat that heartbreak brings.

    I will keep this simple, but still try to convey the level of drama and also the heart-stopping, breathtaking BEAUTY of this film.

    A scarf, fluttering in the breeze...shadows flittering on the dimpled, golden, sand.....

    The War...A Nurse...Archeologists...Spies...Africa...Middle East...Planes...Guns...Love...Betrayal...A Patient...Secrets Withheld...Revealed...Recovery...Discoveries...Losses...A Will to Forget...Italy...Remembrance...Tragedy...Revenge...Heartbreak...Great Bravery...Love...and Endings...

    For ONCE, I can truly say that I have seen a movie that DID totally retain the book...at least one felt that it did. An awesome achievement (and a tremendous salute to Michael Ondaatje's fabulous book...one of the finest reads ever.) Lots of Love, Care, and Effort went into getting everything right about this movie. It Truly DID deserve the many Academy Awards that it garnered.

    One of the most beautifully filmed movies I have ever seen, it is an absolute finalist for the best cinematography, EVER. Music, Costumes, Acting, Editing...all these things are of the very highest order.

    It ranks right up there with the "Great Ones" like "Lawrence of Arabia", "Bridge On The River Kwai", "Dr. Zhivago", and "Casablanca".

    You owe it to yourself to see this fabulous movie...and, it belongs in every respectable personal film collection...it is a Great Work. ~operabruin
    ...more info
  • LUSCIOUS
    Most of the time retelling a story ( and a masterpiece, at that ) in a different medium results in disappointment, but not only did Anthony Minghella's screenplay live up to the expectations of Ondaatje's incredible book, his direction was so fluid that I could, not only see, but almost feel the ancient, sun-heated sand of the North African desert. Then, of course, there was Gabriel Yard's extraordinary score that was so luxuriously, sweeping and romantic, along with John Seale's breathtaking cinematography ( especially of the desert ) that helped the film to encapsulate the power and beauty of Count Almasy's ( Ralph Fiennes ), and Katherine's ( Kristin Scott Thomas ) hopeless passion, along with the tragedies, and loss that Hana ( Juliette Binoche ), and Almasy have experienced during the course of WW II. The acting was also exceptional- across the board. This is a movie for people that actually do know how insane, absurd, and all-encompassing real love, and real life, particularly during times of great stress ( world-wide wars, and such... ) can get. It's just nice, once in awhile, to find a film that requires the use of a heart, and brain. In short I love it. ...more info
  • Don't Get Hooked
    If you have this much time and want a beautiful desert, you would do better to watch Lawrence of Arabia. If you want a great love story set in World War II - at least Casablanca or many others.

    Overall not bad, and Kristin Scott Thomas very lovely, but the reviewer from Queens, Andrew Macewen, got it right with his reference to the narcissism of the two ill fated lovers and the damage they spread around.

    Steer clear.

    ...more info
  • Rapturous
    Rapturous is the one word I can think which may sum up the entire experience that is "The English Patient." The rapture can be felt at every level of its production; the acting, the editing, the cinematogrophy, the screenplay, the music, the story itself. The experience is so visceral that at times it seems to transcend the medium of the film and spread itself like an inkstain across the mind.

    This is a complex, multilayered, intensely character driven epic; it is a love story, and a tragedy, one whose ramifications spread through the lives of the characters involved like ripples on a pond. Against a WWII backdrop, Fiennes plays "the english patient," a man dying of burn wounds, whose slowly returning memories occur in a series of flashbacks that reiterate his doomed love affair with a married englishwoman (Scott Thomas), which interweaves in various ways with the stories of his eclectic companions, all of whom are emotionally and/or physically scarred in their own ways.

    The directing, acting and visualization are utterly hypnotic, helping this film to reach dizzying heights of emotional intimacy. The only thing which might have been improved was further development of the supporting cast, most especially the character of Hana, beautifully played (and suitably rewarded with a Best Supporting Actress Oscar) by the luminous Juliette Binoche.

    Suffice it to say, this film is a masterpiece and was recognized as such by every major film critic out there. The more I watch it, the more rich and seamless it becomes; instead of being able to pick up on errors, I only pick up more ways to fall into the story. ...more info
  • The English Patient is worth seeing many times.
    This is very drama movie. I saw this movie first time when I was 15years old. I didnt know why but I was very impressed.

    I watch it around 50times so far I think, and everytime I realize new things that were not there before.

    There was a neighbor who was around 50years old. She said to me
    "Anne of Green Gables is worth reading many times. Everytime I realize new attractions of this book"

    I agree with her and I also think this movie has lot of attractions. I wrote I was impressed this movie for the first time but I didn't know the reason.

    I think the older I become the more I can understand this movie.
    May be for the first, I was just impressed the romance between
    Almacy and Katharine, romantic scene of Hana and Kip. But now I can understand more than before.

    Why Almasy doesn't like to talk?

    How can Hana be so frighten about people's death?

    Why Almasy asked Hana to kill him?

    I still can not understand deep meanings of this movie completely. But I will someday....more info
  • Brilliant
    I love this movie. In fact, it was the first movie I ever purchased (VHS) many moons ago. I first saw it in a theater with a hard-bitten financial-analyst friend of mine (male, straight). I'm an engineer (male, straight). We are not weepy types. We were both moved very much by this movie. I don't agree at all that this is a chick-flick.

    This is a movie aimed at adults. If you want: constant action, simplistic plot, black-and-white relationships, car crashes, shoot outs (OK, it does have some crashes and shooting), then you probably want to look elsewhere. Casablanca, to which this movie has been contrasted, (though a good movie) could fall into the category of propaganda: produced during WWII, everyone conformed to the main line. Real people had real lives going on during WWII.

    I find that the negative reviews of this movie fall into two categories: 1) those who are (terribly) morally offended by extra-marital affairs, and 2) those that can't follow a complex plot and set of characters. If you can see beyond those issues, and you like a good, complex tragedy, you should enjoy this movie. The first type of critic needs to grow up an realize that people are more complex than black and white caricatures. John Wayne was realistic?!? The fact that both lovers die, painfully, in the end isn't enough tragic retribution for you? Some folks will never be satisfied until everyone agrees with them and conforms. For the second type of critic: best to stick with action movies.

    This is a wonderful movie. The cinematography is gorgeous, music is fantastic, story is complex and compelling, the characters diverse and engaging. Everyone I know liked this movie a lot. Two love stories, plenty of tragedy and twists. Great actors and acting. The story is revealed slowly through flashbacks, it's a great dramatic device and works very well. I am a voracious reader and I have read the book as well: I prefer the movie (I can only say this about one other novel/movie: Dr. Zhivago). Like I said, everyone I know liked it very much. Enjoy....more info
  • So did you like it or not?
    I cannot believe all these interminable reviews. Do these people actually think anyone has time to read their massive missives?

    Here's the thing, buy the DVD. Watch it lots of times. I've seen it maybe 50 times and just the last time I saw it did I catch the last thing that Katherine wrote in Almasys' Herodotus as she died.
    And then I noticed Minghella's shot after Almasy jumps from the train, how he's framed against the blue sky as the music swells and then there's Fiennes fierce face.
    Every time I see it, I catch something new, there's so much going on that it's like a piece of music for me, it keeps revealing itself. Maybe that was Minghella's gift.
    I love this movie slavishly, the way some love Casablanca or Star Wars.
    ...more info