Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ripley's Game

Available from Netflix: Ripley's Game, directed by Liliana Cavani

Though I don't think I would wholeheartedly recommend this movie (Ripley's motivations are a little too opaque for the plot to totally make sense, and it fails the Bechdel Test), it's not a bad little thriller, and it's got Ray Winstone who was once, shockingly, voted Britain's fifth sexiest actor. So there's that.

Synopsis from AllMovie:

The cool and mannered sociopath Tom Ripley returns to the big screen in director Liliana Cavani's 2002 crime thriller Ripley's Game, adapted from the 1974 novel by Patricia Highsmith. Living a life of luxury as an art dealer in northern Italy with his musician wife Luisa (Chiara Caselli), Ripley (John Malkovich) attends a party thrown by Jonathan Trevanny (Dougray Scott) and overhears the host making critical comments about Ripley's fashion sense. Enraged, Ripley immediately plots his retaliation for this slight, which comes via a reunion with his former business partner Reeves (Ray Winstone). Reeves seeks out Ripley's help in finding an unrecognized assassin to kill a Russian gangster, and Ripley suggests he talk to Trevanny — whom Ripley knows has recently been diagnosed with leukemia and is also desperately strapped for cash. Trevanny reluctantly accepts the offer, in order to insure his family's security — but is pressured into a repeat performance, which draws the ire of Ripley. The situation quickly spirals out of control to the point of drawing the attention — and anger — of the Russian mob, forcing Ripley to intervene. But the master criminal also develops a respect for his unwitting victim, forming an unlikely friendship under the most dire of circumstances.


  1. I think that the film assumes that viewers are familiar with Tom Ripley. His motivations make a lot more sense if you see more than one movie about him or read more than one book.

  2. Well, I did read "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and see the Matt Damon movie (and does "Purple Noon" count?), so I get why he does what he does in the first half of the movie. It's his--spoiler alert--change of heart that I find confusing. Why do you think he decides to intervene later on?