The Talented Mr Ripley (15)
Time Out saysThe late '50s. New York lavatory attendant Tom Ripley (Damon) may not be conventionally talented, but he's very able when it comes to reacting on the spot, especially with little white lies. When shipbuilder Herbert Greenleaf assumes he's an old college pal of his son Dickie (Law), Ripley's quick to snap up the opportunity to visit Europe, purportedly to lure the playboy home, but actually to sample la dolce vita for himself. But, having wormed his way into the affections of Dickie and his girlfriend Marge (Paltrow), he can't face losing his new-found life of leisure. Minghella's imaginative but mostly faithful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's classic study of a sociopathic killer is a class act, in every sense. Not only is it an elegantly polished affair, with top notch performances all round, and magnificent camerawork and editing, it's also acutely aware of how class, money and sex shape desire and resentment, and of the distinctions between presenting a facade to the world, outright pretence and the more radical practice of reinventing oneself. It's into these registers that Minghella weaves the most intriguing and ironic undertones.