The English Patient (Winner, 1996/69th Annual Academy Awards)

27 May

It really seems as though I’m watching nothing but movies with British actors lately! From Shakespeare in Love to Sherlock Holmes, which I saw this weekend on my newfound Robert Downey Jr. kick (more on that later!), and on to The English Patient, which is obviously no exception.

So, watching this after Shakespeare in Love is a capital D downer.  Don’t get me wrong—awesome movie, but no semblance of a happy ending.  Along with be pretty complicated to follow at first, I predict this will not end up as my favorite Oscar winner, but I am going to read the 1992 novel and see how it stacks up having seen the movie first.

So the movie skips back and forth between time; present time, which is the end and just following WWII, we have our main character, Ralph Fiennes (aka older brother of SiL’s Joseph Fiennes and Lord Voldemort) as  Count László de Almásy, a Hungarian map drawer guy (so we’re told, I don’t know how I’d ever identify him as Hungarian of all things). He’s been terribly burned and disfigured and is being cared for by Hana, a French-Canadian nurse.

The more impactful story line in seen in the flashbacks, where the Count recalls his affair with a colleague’s (Poor Colin Firth) wife, Katharine Clifton played by Kristin Scott Thomas. Now, when I say affair, I mean AFFAIR. They’re in the middle of the desert, and rules seem to longer apply in this place and during the war. It take a while for the love connection to be made; the Count seems to be pretty reclusive and strange at first, bordering on misanthropic. Of course, the husband finds out to disastrous consequences, which kind of disturbed me as much as last season’s finale of Private Practice.

So, while I do think this was an excellent movie and probably the most deserving out of the bunch it was nominated with (which apparently included Jerry Maguire, which, though an awesome movie, is hardly Oscar worthy in my opinion), I’m hoping to find a happy ending! Or is that maybe a criteria for winning, no happy resolutions allowed? Let’s hope not, or I’m in for a depressing summer!

Fun facts:

  • From first draft of the screenplay to final cut took four years.
  • Besides the Oscar for best picture, The English Patient won 8 other academy awards, including Best Actress in a Supporting Role for
    Juliette Binoche and best director for Anthony Minghella.
  • Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas were both nominated for best actor and actress (respectively)
  • Was the first digitally-edited film to win an Academy Award for Best Film Editing
  • Gross revenue (worldwide): $231,976,425

Side note on my new Robert Downey Jr. obsession: Ironman AND Ironman 2 were both phenom, and this is currently the background on my computer:

After seeing Ironman 2 this past weekend, I immediately redboxed Sherlock Holmes (with more eye candy in the form of Jude Law) and have plans to rent The Soloist this weekend. Don’t judge me =)

Next up for Oscar winners? Still up in the air, but hopefully something that isn’t super depressing—stay tuned to see if I succeed!


3 Responses to “The English Patient (Winner, 1996/69th Annual Academy Awards)”

  1. beardylollipop May 30, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    Fargo was absolutely robbed! I can’t wait to see what you watch next. One suggestion: when you get to Return of the King, you have to watch Fellowship and Two Towers first.


  1. Amadeus (Winner, 1984/57th Annual Academy Awards) « Oscartini - September 30, 2010

    […] Amadeus, The English Patient and The Hurt Locker are the only Best Picture winners to never enter the weekend box office top 5 after rankings began being recorded in 1982. […]

  2. From Here to Eternity (Winner, 1953/26th Annual Academy Awards) « Oscartini - January 20, 2011

    […] black and white movie (that would be It Happened One Night), my first winner based on a novel (The English Patient) or, unfortunately, my favorite Oscar winner I’ve watched so far, or anything even close.  And […]

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