Good old Dickie Greenleaf

We watched The Talented Mr Ripley last night. Afterwards I was so unsettled that I pulled the curtains in the kitchen, and closed the window in the utility room, in case there was anyone in the garden, waiting to come in and kill us.

I’d bought a CD in town, The Very Best of Arvo Pärt. Yes, the very best. Rock ‘n roll. You’ve got to start somewhere and all I know, pretty much, is Spiegel im Spiegel. Well, on come these Seven Magnificat Antiphons, and Jesus, they didn’t help the mood at all. They scared the hell out of me too. So I had to just fastforward to Spiegel im Spiegel.

The Talented Mr Ripley is so brilliantly sinister that by the end of the film, the early part of the story, where good old Dickie Greenleaf is an all-round charming bastard, arsing around, doing the dirt on his girlfriend Marge every day, getting local girls up the duff, living the life of Reilly on his dad’s dollar – all this seems like paradise and larks. Marge is the only decent person in it (the female roles are pretty nondescript) and for her sake, you’d like to turn the clock back to those good old days in Mongibello.

Anthony Minghella directed and wrote the screenplay, his first film since The English Patient. He got Gabriel Yared to do the music again. John Seale did the cinematography. Ann Roth and Gary Jones the costumes. They filmed in Ischia and Procida.


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