THE DAILY TELEGIRAFFE

Mourning the loss of Anthony Minghella.

Anthony Minghella's screenplays for "The English Patient" and "Truly, Madly, Deeply"
combined with his talent as a director of love stories, small and large: for these,
we are truly, madly, deeply grateful.

"Who lays the crumbs of food that tempt you? Towards a person you never considered.
A dream. Then later another series of dreams.

He later said it was it was propinquity. Propinquity in the desert.
It does that here, he said."

In 1992, Michael Ondaatje published his novel, "The English Patient." It took him six years to write it. An exploration of spirit and salvation, of countries and confession, it won the Booker prize.

It's Raining.

In 1996, Anthony Minghella directed his own screen adaptation; he created a film equal to the book's lyricism and beauty, true even to the fluidity of time which washes through the novel. The film won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Soundtrack and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The performance of Juliette Binoche was rewarded with an Oscar for Best Actress; however, the performance of Ralph Fiennes went unrecognized by the Academy. No matter, then or now, since his acting is so fine and real, so burned into the memory, that it must be its own reward. As a terminally injured patient, he recalls, slowly, his life as a Hungarian explorer and map-maker, drawn unwillingly into love, and ultimately responsible for the death of the woman he loved--a casualty of war. His performance is gold thread unspooled, in the delicate fabric that is "The English Patient."

In 1997, I had the opportunity to meet Saul Zaentz, the film's producer. I thanked him for making the film. A Santa Claus of a man, he smiled gently, and quietly. "Oh, well thank you."

 

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