Thursday, November 27, 2008

The English Patient

Kristin Scott Thomas and Ralph Fiennes on the Miramax DVD cover

I first watched this film in 1997, when I was still in high school. I thought it was a remarkable tale but the plot was a bit 'mature' for me. I re-watched this film today. I must write that I am moved. The excellent story has been remarkably well told.

Director Anthony Minghella's project showcases an incredibly beautiful, complex cinematography and a transcendental soundtrack. While Ralph Fiennes is at his usual best (think Schindler's List, The Constant Gardener), and Juliet Binoche received the well-deserved Best Supporting Actress Oscar, for me Kristin Scott Thomas is the spark that set this film alive. In the role of Katharine, Kristin is stark femininity entwined with a wild, adventurous spirit and an emotional persona. Just as Katharine creates cavemen paintings on blank canvases, Kristin has inked the character from scratch. Whether as a beautiful outsider to the Egyptian desert, as a cultured woman of the army society, or as a passionate lover, Kristin adds life to the very narrative. Again, this is very parallel to how her character adds life to Almasy's (Ralph's) existence.

If you've not seen this film you really are missing something. Take my advice - set aside 3 hours and delight yourself.

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