Comments: *Sealed. Single Disc. Special features include: Exclusive cast and crew interviews, "Inside The Talented Mr. Ripley" featurette, music videos and audio commentary.
A lot of directors working today try to ape Hitchcock. His films are the gold standard for artful forays into psychological terror. Christopher Nolan is just the latest celebrated director trying to tap into a rich vein of Hitchcockian malice for his own films. But while Nolan succeeds with astonishing set-pieces within his films—think of the face-to-face interrogation room sequence between Batman and the Joker in The Dark Knight—his films are, for the most part, long on disorienting gimmicks and rather low on psychological depth. He also doesn’t go near the subject of sex and Hitchcock’s films are full of sex—sexual obsession, sexual dread, sexual paranoia—the one exception being sexual fulfillment which seemed to exist only within the arms of his most beautiful and iconic star couplings in films such as Notorious and To Catch a Thief.
The Talented Mr. Ripley is a first-rate Hitchcockian exercise from the late director Anthony Minghella and it has all of the corrosive sexual dread you could ask for as well as a disturbingly convincing subtext on the kinds of identity games Americans are always involved in. It’s glamorous and dark and manages to top Hitchcock in at least one respect—its undercurrent of eroticism is explicitly homosexual.
Matt Damon plays Tom Ripley, the mysterious anti-hero of Patricia Highsmith’s series of novels upon which the film is based. Tom Ripley is more a force of nature than a human being. He’s a shape shifting plague who wreaks havoc on his victims, though "victim" may be too kind a word for some of them. Tom infiltrates a privileged world closed off to most of us and lies and kills to advance his position within this society. As played by Damon he’s definitely creepy, but also perversely sympathetic.
Tom is hired by an old-money type in New York to travel to Italy to retrieve his scion of questionable worth, Dickie Greenleaf, played with sleazy insouciance by Jude Law. Tom assumes the identity of a former Ivy League schoolmate who worshiped Dickie from afar. Soon he is adopted by Dickie and his girlfriend Marge into their inner circle who idle their time in an Italian seaside town having convinced themselves that they are important artists – Marge a writer and Dickie a jazz musician. Soon Freddie, Dickie’s best friend, enters the picture and immediately sizes up Tom as a d