The English Patient (1996) – Encore Review


“I once heard of a captain who wore a patch over a good eye. The men fought harder for him.” – Almásy

Number of Times Seen – Between 5-10 times (Theater, video, DVD, 30 Jun 2013 and 2 Jun 2019)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – Towards the end of World War II, a devoted nurse tends to a severely burnt man who tells the story of what happened to him.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing in the theater after it came out and have been amazed by it ever since.

The story is able to expertly blend together numerous genres in order to enhance the story that we are being told.

Ralph Fiennes is superb in the title role and I love the way that as the story unfolds we are slowly told what happened to him before and during the war that led him to where he is now.

The way that they tell the story works extremely well and the flashbacks allow for the characters to be developed really well to a point where we can actually see them as real people.

The film’s run time is a bit long, yet it allows for the story to develop and progress at a nice and realistic pace and that helps establish that the love between the various characters feels natural instead of rushed for time.

The love that these characters have for one another is felt in every scene that they appear in and the descriptions are so detailed that it all comes across in a very real and plausible fashion.

The cast is superb and in addition to Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Kirsten Scott Thomas and Willem Dafoe all give great performances in these somewhat complex roles.

This film was quite deserving of its 9 Oscars that include Best Picture and Best Director and is among the last epics to ever take home that coveted prize.

The story is able to jump back and forth in time really well and gives us a complete understanding of the two eras that bookend this film.

Despite those years not spanning such a long period of time, the world that these characters are a part of changed drastically in those short span of time due to the War that inflamed the entire world.

Bottom Line – Amazing film that is able to blend together so many genres in order to enhance the story. Fiennes is superb in the lead and we slowly get to understand everything that happened to him prior to the war which eventually led up to where he is now. The story is told in flashback quite well and is able to develop these characters so uniquely that each of them feels real and genuine. The film is a bit long yet that helps establish the characters and setting and also allows time for love affairs to grow naturally between characters instead of us feeling as if it is all rushed for time. The kind of love that these characters have is felt in every scene where they are shown or described and it all comes across in a very plausible way. In addition to Fiennes, Thomas, Binoche and Dafoe are all spectacular in these somewhat complex kind of roles.  Very deserving of its 9 Oscars including Best Picture and Director and remains one of the last true epics to take home the top prize at the Oscars over the past 23 years.  They expertly jump back and forth in time in order for us to get an understanding of the two eras that bookend this story because despite them not being that far apart, the world that the characters all live in changed drastically in those intervening years. Highly Recommended

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The Germans who shoot at Almásy’s plane at the beginning were actually tourists roped into the production because they couldn’t afford any more extras. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (no change from original review)

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2 thoughts on “The English Patient (1996) – Encore Review

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1996 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1996 | MovieRob

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