Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Talented Mr. Ripley

I am cheating by posting this, because it's actually a post from my old blog which I'm recycling: screencaps from The Talented Mr. Ripley, one of my all-time favourite films. I've been overcome by wanderlust in the last few days (getting a Pinterest account may have something to do with this) and when I think of wanderlust, I always think of this movie. It just makes me want to be in Italy in summer, and it is such a visually stunning film.

I went to see this in the cinema when it came out (I can't believe that was in 1999, 12 years ago! Where do the years go?) and instantly fell in love with everything about it. All these years later, I still love the film as much as ever; in fact, I'd go as far as saying it is probably my ultimate favourite. Everything about it - the colours, the characterisation, the brilliant soundtrack, and of course the acting (from everyone in the cast), and it goes without saying that the Italian settings are one of the most beguiling things about it. With every viewing, I've always come away desperately wanting to visit Italy.

The pleasant thing about screencapping a film is that you notice things about it you probably wouldn't under normal viewing circumstances. I've seen The Talented Mr. Ripley more times than I could possibly count, but until compiling these caps I'd never noticed how significant a role mirrors play throughout it - not only as an obvious motif, but in the background of so many scenes, sitting in the corners of rooms and reflecting distorted, unexpected fragments - and then there's the subtle switch from bright, warm colours before Dickie's 'disappearance' to rich, sinister, dark tones afterwards, and the use of light, pouring through windows, casting things into shadow, lots of hazy sunsets...

Finally, I can't really post film screencaps without mentioning the clothes. I have always been particularly fond of Meredith (Cate Blanchett)'s outfits, especially that beautifully cut powder-blue coat. But I'm also quite fond of Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow)'s leopard-print look towards the end, and her laid-back Mongibello wardrobe - all those knotted blouses and high-waisted maxi skirts. This being the 1950s, everything looks completely effortless and chic. And, of course, you can never go wrong with men in good suits.


  1. The wanderlust spreads.... Great post. Dreaming of being anywhere but here right now x

  2. I've never seen this film but read the book recently & absolutely loved it - will have to watch this very soon!

  3. As a fan of Jude Law I can't believe I haven't seen this movie yet. I will be renting this hopefully tonight :) Thanks for the post. Beautiful pictures!

  4. I found this post by googling 'The Talented Mr Ripley is my favorite film, Am i the only one?'. No Joke, I actually just did that.

    Reading your post, I feel somewhat vindicated. I have always felt so strongly about this film ever since my first viewing. Over the years, almost everyone i have discussed the subject with has told me that, at best, they could take it or leave it, or worse still that they found the film BORING and forgettable.

    So glad to have found that at least one person out there who saw at least some of what I did in this spectacularly crafted masterpiece.

    Brilliant post - greatly appreciated.