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Customer Reviews:

  • 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
  • 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 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
  • One of my all-time favorites
    I cannot recommend this movie more than this. It is, from my opinion, epic....more info
  • Patience brings out layers of depth
    A Favorite Film. many layers and subplots, some more obvious than others.The characters are so believable I am suspended in the Italian Country side during WW11. Incredible sets and cinematography immerse the eye. It touches every sense..from ink on textured paper to the tinkling of tiny bottles on a camels back. Letting us soar in the air then dip into a "Swimmers Cave" aa we feel the passion in unspoken resonance and grief in a place called "Palace of the Winds". A love story within a love story, so entwined that they become one tale of many loves. Timeless.
    Katherine Rosengren...more info
  • Great flick!
    My youngest son would never watch this movie with me and I kept telling him how much he would like it. His friends, however, talked him into watching and I was right! He loved it - I purchased it for him this Christmas 2007 - he'll be very pleased with his mother!...more info
  • One of the best films of all times
    Simply fantastic, flawless...this film is the ultimate love has all the elements to become one of the best films of all times...Juliette Binoche is spectacular and the chemistry between Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas leaves you spechless. Recommended for mature audiences who admire passionate tales....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
  • Anybody out there?
    Winner of 9 Academy awards, and it's not hard to see why: a luminous script, vibrant on-location shooting, assured direction, and stomach-churning performances.

    But the whole thing's about adultery!

    Hello? Anybody out there? Am I the only one left on planet earth who . . .

    Oh, what's the point?...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
  • You love it...or you hate seems to be that way!!!
    Having watched this film three times since 1996,I keep revisiting it hoping that maybe something in me would change to make me like this film more,but it hasn't!!!When a movie wins nine Academy Awards I think,maybe the "intelligentia" knows better.They don't!!!This film is positively plodding. The acting or the screenplay is not anything exceptional in any way.(No small wonder that Fiennes and Scott-Thomas were beat out!)I am a person who is usually moved by what I see,but the more I view this picture,the more I realize why the SEINFELD show dedicated a whole episode to their hate of this movie.When I revisit the nominees for 1996 I see what a weak field this film was up against,but certainly FARGO,SHINE,SECRETS AND LIES and even JERRY MAGUIRE were more compelling than this 3-hour bore.To each his/her own.You will either love it or hate it.I preferred the latter vehemently!...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
  • 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
  • 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
  • A Masterpiece
    On many a social occasion, when the 'best movie' topic is raised, the first film to bubble up in my mind is The English Patient. It somehow reached deep within, and remained there for life.

    Superbly directed by Anthony Minghella, the film tells the story of forbidden love - found and lost - wonderfully portrayed by Scott-Thomas and Fienes and the rest of the cast. The film has no hidden agendas: it merely reflects our inner yearnings and poetic flaws; set in beautiful locations with superb cinematogrpahy, and rounded off in a moving score by Gabriel Yared.

    It was a film regarded 'doomed' in its pre-production, which soured like and eagle in the end.

    One of the best ever made......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
  • Fantastic!
    Even though it won 9 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and despite the fact I've been fond of Anthony Minghella's work in the past...I wasn't expecting much from "The English Patient." It's just really not my kind of movie. It takes place during World War II; a majority of the film takes place in the desert, etc. Actually, it's a fantastic movie with fantastic performances that is not only a great film but very entertaining as well.

    Ralph Fiennes plays Almasy, a mysterious man who's is found in a fiery plane crash burned to hell. The man doesn't remember his name and remembers little about himself, but he's soon taken in by a young nurse named Hana (Juliette Binoche, who received an Oscar for her role) and slowly begins to recall his past. But he may be hiding something and that's why a man named Caravaggio (Willem Dafoe) suddenly shows up, wanting to know more about the mysterious man.

    The movie is simultaneously a war movie, a love story, and a performance piece that gives every actor time to shine. Despite claiming the only Oscar for acting, it isn't even Binoche who turns in the best performance. Feinnes is absolutely fantastic, Dafoe is great as well, and Kristin Scott Thomas as the woman Almasy falls in love with is fascinating to watch. Feinnes, who is wearing heavy makeup to simulate burn scars, gives a very layered performance here and probably deserved the Oscar for this performance (I say probably because I don't recall who won that year). Anyway, even if "The English Patient" doesn't sound like your cup of tea, rest assured that it is a great film that one should not miss. Great story, fascinating acting, steady-handed direction. It's a real winner.
    GRADE: A-...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
  • Boring!!!!!!!!
    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
  • 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
  • Excellent Movie
    This is one of the best movies I have ever see! It had me riveted from the begining. Anyone who claims it is "slow" lacks intellect. I really appreciated the non-linear editing styles and the acting is great!...more info
    There is a scene in the movie, where Ralph Fiennes carries the wounded Kristin Scott Thomas into a desert cave. Over the threshold, draped in white he promises to always protect her. There were no priests, no family, no friends, no guests - yet, to me this is one of the most beautiful wedding scenes ever captured on film.

    Love and Betrayal. God and Country. Courage and Betrayal. The whole range of Human Condition is captured on a canvas of infinite sands and beige dreams.

    This is a breathtaking film that got the Oscar acclaim it deserved. A Modern Classic - people of coming generations will talk of this film the same way we talk about CASABLANKA.

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!...more info