Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Anthony Minghella (1954-2008)

Writer/director Anthony Minghella (most famous for The English Patient and Cold Mountain) has died at 54 years of age of a brain hemorrhage after a medical procedure. Condolences to his family. It's so sad. He's pictured to the left here with two of his (presumably) favorite actors Jude Law (who we were just discussing) and Juliette Binoche --both of whom he worked with repeatedly and directed to Oscar nominations.

The next couple of years were going to be busy for this multi-hypenate talent and Oscar winner who leaned toward literary adaptation. He was producing this year's Oscar hopeful The Reader. He had recently announced his next project, another adaptation, of the novel The Ninth Life of Louis Drax and had just completed the promising adaptation of the book franchise The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency for a possible television series. No word yet on whether Minghella finished his segment of the upcoming New York, I Love You (a follow up of sorts to Paris Je T'Aime) where he was one of several filmmakers doing vignettes. Some other names who will be featured in the omnibus project include The Hughes Brothers, Scarlett Johansson (her debut behind the camera), Mira Nair, Brett Ratner, and Fatih Akin (Head-On).

My personal favorite Minghella is also his first Truly Madly Deeply (1990, but released stateside in 1991). That's one film I always feel safe recommending to anyone. It's a really heartfelt romantic dramedy from the tiny romantic comedy subgenre of dead lover helps still living partner move on with life. You've seen a few of them in your life but none are as good as Truly Madly Deeply. Minghella was always a strong actor's director and Juliet Stevenson, the lead, is marvelous. Alan Rickman plays her dead lover. She probably would have been on my Oscar ballot in 1991, had I an Oscar ballot to scribble on.


14 comments:

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

Oh my God - this is profoundly unsettling. What a loss

Condolences to his family. He will be greatly missed

Anonymous said...

I'm so upset right now. Huge loss to the film community.

RIP Anthony Minghella

Billy D said...

God, he made really beautiful films. And he really did find such a great muse in Jude Law (3 collaborations, Nat, btw). Say what you will about Cold Mountain, but it's gorgeous, almost painterly, which The English Patient obviously is. He stood among a few other British filmmakers (Joe Wright, Stephen Daldry) who approach films in a distinctly "compositional" way. I'm not quite sure how else to put it. I doubt any other filmmaker will make Law look as beautiful again. Sad.

Peter Chan said...

What a tragic loss to the film industry. Thanks, Anthony, for giving me one of my favorite films ever in 'The Talented Mr. RIpley'.

Luke said...

RIP :-(

This makes his brief appearance in Atonement all the more symbolical. I hope Joe Wright will continue making exquisite literary adaptations in his (presumably) master's stead.

I voted for Ripley (like majority had at this point). Such a riveting, humane and amazingly acted thriller. But I admire The English Patient and Cold Mountain, too.

NATHANIEL R said...

Ripley is my second favorite (and its close) to TMD which is a sentimental favorite

Sid said...

Ripley is my favorite -- though I also love TMD and The English Patient. Even Cold Mountain seemed like a good film to me, despite its fair share of problems.

Sad to hear about his loss -- I'm sure he had a few great films left in him.

Anonymous said...

Sad to see the loss of one of the isle of wights favourite sons. Condolences to Gloria & Edward

Anonymous said...

I loved THE ENGLISH PATIENT very much! I appreciated also TMD and Ripley, I hope "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency", will be a nice film...
A very sad news...RIP Anthony

Mirko S.

nick said...

To add to your poll of favorite Minghella productions, wasn't he the interviewer at the end of Atonement? I know it isn't technically one of his productions, but it was something he had a decent-sized cameo in.

Truly a loss for the cinematic art form. He really was one of my favorite directors, since there are very few directors whose work I uniformly enjoy.

RIP A.M.

thombeau said...

What a sad and surprising loss...

Kamikaze Camel said...

He was also an exec producer of Michael Clayton.

Very sad news, indeed. He was always an interesting director - I was very much looking forward to The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency with Jill Scott.

54 is still so young, so it's terrible.

May his role in Atonement be seen as a "passing of the torch" if you will.

Anonymous said...

What a loss to cinema. Sadness.

Anonymous said...

What a rough year - Roy Schneider, Brad Renfro, Heath, and now Minghella - and it's only March.

RedSatinDoll