|The English Patient (Miramax Collector's Edition)
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At the end of World War II, four survivors live in an abandoned villa in Italy: a nurse, her English patient, a thief whose skills were put to heroic use during the war, and an Indian sapper hunting out unexploded bombs.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Release Date: 3-MAY-2005
Media Type: DVD
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.
- Kristen Scott-Thomas pulled through!
I heard distubring rumors that the filming of the movie nearly came to a halt because Kristen Scott-Thomas did not rank very highly with audiences, that the director was actually pressured into replacing her with Michelle Pfeifer. Let me tell you, I am soooo thankful that Kristen Scott-Thomas ended up playing the female lead. It takes a strong English actress with a background in Shakespearean theater to play such a dramatic role. ...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
- Long, and it feels it
I ususally love films in this genre but I was very dissapointed in this film. It just didn't do anything for me emotionally. I felt nothing. Even at the end I felt nothing. I'm not sure why, but I thought most of the film was rather bland and dragged terribly. This should have been the perfect film for me, but it was the complete opposite. Long movies do not bother me in the least, but I was getting restless half way through. Its a pity because the actors in this are some of my most favorite. ...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.
- best English film of the 90s
To me, the film's most compelling theme is how Almasy's personal determination to keep his promise to the injured Kathryn has tragic political implications, notably for his partner Maddox and for the spy/thief David Caravaggio. Moving deftly back and forth in time, the narrative pulls a whole group of interesting characters into the web of "the English patient," tracing cause and effect through episodes of love, danger, and death. The performances are exceptional, with Ralph Fiennes at his brooding, intense best and the beautiful Juliette Binoche full of spunky life but also vulnerable angst. My only complaint concerns how Caravaggio (Willem Dafoe) seems on the verge of confronting/killing Almasy (Fiennes) several times in a rather unconnected manner. It provides opportunities to drive forward the plot in the past but seems a little incoherent in terms of the "present" plotline. Only in his one major--and quite harrowing--flashback sequence does Caravaggio really come to life for me. But that's a minor quibble in the face of such a brilliantly developed film. The cinematography is gorgeous, and the romantic score by Gabriel Yared adds a great deal of poignancy, particularly at the very end when we finally understand the full significance of the film's opening image. I love, too, the final contrasting cuts between Amashy's doomed flight and Hannah's sunlit trip toward an unknown future. It's the yin and yang of past and present, destruction and possibility. Two types of viewers should avoid this film: philistines who identify with rather than laugh at Elaine and simple-minded cultural conservatives (who apparently miss the fact that illicit passion leads to dire consequences in this film).
this movie is INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL. ralph fiennes is just UNBELIEVABLE. and the rest of the cast, too, is AMAZING. the plotline itself is beautiful and passionate. each second of the three-hour movie was pleasant (i didn't even believe that was possible before. out of africa, for example, was torture). if you're looking for an experience rather than just a movie, this film will do that. the cast and story provide that. it's still playing in my head. it has changed me, even if a little. every great piece of art has that effect....more info
- should have listened
to quote Hank Hill"You dont have to be english to watch this film but you sure have to be patient" Wish Id listened before I wasted 3 hours of my life on this boring movie!...more info
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Breathtaking to look at, but easily forgotten...
I really liked this movie. I think it's best to start with that. I gave it four stars (which translates into a `B' rating or sorts from me) so you know that I liked it. That said, it is not the emotional rollercoaster of a film I was really expecting. Part of that may come from the fact that I felt this was Fiennes' weaker performance and that his character didn't really resonate with me, which is a shame because aside from his personal contribution to the film I really, really enjoyed myself. I love Ralph Fiennes and do consider him one of our finest working actors, but I felt something missing in his performance here.
Just for a quick overview:
`The English Patient' is told over a collage of flashbacks as injured Almasy recalls his love affair with the married Katherine. His nurse Hana struggles to connect with Almasy as she weeds out her own issues, especially when it comes to love and her recent yearnings for Kip, a bomb diffuser.
That's basically it. The film is of course littered with a few side plots and a slew of characters that pepper in some charm and energy into the film, but for the most part the above synopsis covers it really. That's not a bad thing at all, for the simpler the plot the more opportunity the director and actors have to embellish. For the most part `The English Patient' works. It is a very nicely crafted and developed film and the acting is all decent (no, I'm not contradicting myself), in parts even spectacular. The story is beautifully tragic and Minghella's adaptation is very rewarding. He is a visually commanding director (his work in `Cold Mountain' is just as spectacular, and his work on `The Talented Mr. Ripley' is one of the best directorial achievements in modern cinema) and so it is no surprise that this film is captivating from start to finish.
Don't listen to the naysayers; the pace of this film is perfect.
The problem I have with this film is that it is not emotionally investing. What I mean is that, while the ending is enough to make anyone cry regardless of their feelings on the film in general, it doesn't stay with you. The next day or even later that evening your emotions will have subsided and you'll all but forget that you were moved. I don't often like to compare films, because I feel that every film deserves its own individual analysis, but I'm forced to give an example. A whole month after watching `Brokeback Mountain' I was pumping gas and an image of Ennis came into my head and my stomach tightened as I felt the emotional punch to the gut that that particular film left me. You don't get that with this movie. Another example; a few weeks after I saw `Atonement' (a film that is often likened to this movie) I saw a trailer for the film and I started to cry. Again, you don't get that with this movie.
That isn't to say that `The English Patient' will not touch you or that the story is not moving. While you are watching the film you will feel moved and touched, that is for certain, but like I said; it's not a lasting feeling.
I credit a lot of that to Fiennes, who I felt performed rather underwhelming here. He was outshone completely by his co-stars, the luminescent Kristin Scott Thomas and the Oscar winning Juliette Binoche. Both actresses transcend their characters and become a part of us. Thomas is probably best in show here; her body language alone is just mesmerizing. Standing next to her, Fiennes is almost invisible.
In the end I highly recommend this one, but if you are looking for a film that will stay with you a lifetime this may not be that film. I know that a lot of people feel differently than I do, and you may be one of them. Please remember that film is art and that we all see things differently, which is a good thing. One reviewer commented on a recent review of mine, stating that I should try to enjoy films and not pollute my reviews with my opinions (not those exact words, but that was his gist). Why review a film if we cannot be honest and let others know exactly how we feel? I am not here trying to persuade you away from a movie, but just trying to give you my perspective. If it's helpful then great, if not then I'm sorry.
Anyways, I just wanted to say that....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
- A Classic!
Excellent and well developed story. Right up there with 'A Sound of Music and 'My Fair Lady'!...more info
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
- 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
I actually watched this film twice because the reviews were good and I thought I must have missed something. The first time I had trouble paying attention it was so dull. The second time I had trouble staying awake. I have seen it twice and don't even recall what it was about. Why do people like this film?...more info
- 3 stars out of 4
The Bottom Line:
A weighty, somewhat self-important adaptation of an acclaimed novel, The English Patient (along with other movies that fit that description, like Sophie's Choice and Cold Mountain) was pure Oscar bait but it's also a suitably epic romance that will no doubt appeal to those who like this sort of thing....more info
- Boring and too long
I actually saw this movie twice. The first time because it starred Colin Firth (well that was a disappointingly small role) and the second time because my ex-boyfriend wanted to see it with me. He loved it! No wonder our relationship didn't last :-(
The movie has some stunning scenery, but it's too long, the love story dragged on and on and why the character of Kristin Scott Thomas (not one of my favourite actresses anyway) liked the Fiennes character over her loving husband Firth (better looking than Fiennes any time of the day) has always eluded me. I think it's supposed to be a romantic movie, but that was also lost upon me.
I have some four hundred or more DVD's, but this movie is not one I own....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:
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:
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!!
ELAINE: (shouts) Oh, go to hell!!
THANKS ELAINE, THAT IN A NUTSHELL IS MY REVIEW.
- "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
- Good story but full frontal nudity spoiled it!
I have to say I enjoyed this movie as it showed how far a man would go for the woman he loved, but the full frontal nude scene spoiled it. Kristen Scott Thomas's character could have pull a towel around herself as she stepped out of the bath, but I guess morals went out the window as they were having an affair and she was a married woman, which I thought was wrong. She should have left her husband if she wasn't happy before having an affair. Ralph Fiennes played the part of the Count well, I preferred the parts where the nurse was taking care of him and it showed how caring a nurse is to her patient. I would recommend this movie, but fast forward the nude scenes....more info