The English Patient

Austin Chronicle

DIRECTED BY: Anthony Minghella

REVIEWED: 10-20-97



Ralph Fiennes and Kristen Scott Thomas dance in -- say it with me now, teeth clenched together -- The Eeeeenglish Patient.

patient. 1. adj. bearing annoyance, pain, etc., without complaint or anger. 2. n. a person who is under medical or surgical treatment.

You'll understand both definitions after sitting through the rambling, three-hour epic of The English Patient, the indie gem that stole the hearts and tears of every woman in America last year, not to mention pretty much all of the Academy Awards. If you missed its theatrical release, home video is a great place to catch it; even though you'll miss out on some of the majestic cinematography, the promise of a pause button more than outweighs any loss of quality. You'll probably need rewind as well, if you want to follow the subtlety of Minghella's unnecessarily convoluted plot structure, tracing might-be-a-Nazi Fiennes through the African theatre of WWII, his love affair with the often-naked Thomas, his care under Oscar-winner Binoche after being horribly burned in a plane crash, and his dealings with Dafoe as the mystery man in all of this, as if things weren't complicated enough. While it's an adventure on the surface, The English Patient has a love story as its heart, and its earnest soul ultimately redeems any superficial flaws. Be forewarned, though, that the best movies never have happy endings

--Christopher Null

Full Length Reviews
The English Patient

Other Films by Anthony Minghella
The Talented Mr. Ripley

Film Vault Suggested Links
Gone With the Wind
Fifty Four
Oscar and Lucinda

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