As always, I’m behind posting about things here, but I rewatched The Talented Mr Ripley for the first time in a few years and had a little something I wanted to say about it.
The movie itself is gorgeous through-and-through, unsurprising of course, since it’s Minghella, but the real genius of it is the last shot. Another director probably would have ended it with Ripley in silhouette in his cabin. (Though that shot itself is excellent — the audio has continued from the previous scene over Ripley returning to his cabin, and as he sits on the bed, it cuts in, the camera pans around him, from his right side clearly lit, to his left side all in shadow. Let’s just say those angles are not accidental.)
The final shot, though, is utter beauty. The camera pulls back into the closet (!) as the motion from the ship rocks the doors closed. The doors are mirrored, catching Ripley in almost a funhouse effect, then boxing him in, then closing him out altogether, all with excruciating slowness (enhanced, of course, by the audio.) Exceedingly effective. It’s the first thing I think of when I think of this movie.
The second thing is Ripley singing “My Funny Valentine”. The third thing is how tragic it is that we never get to see Matt Damon & Jack Davenport make out. (That’s a joke. I mean, it is tragic, but it also would have been out of place.)