Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Director Anthony Minghella Passes On

Anthony Minghella, who directed such films as Cold Mountain and The Talented Mr. Ripley died from a haemorrhage yesterday at the age of 54. His latest film, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, is set to premiere in just five days.

Anthony Minghella was born January 6, 1954 in Ryde, Isle of Wight. He attended the University of Hull, stopping short of receiving a doctorate. He started out as a playwright, with his first piece that was produced being an adaptation of Gabriel Josipovici's Mobius the Stripper in 1975. It was his 1985 play Whale Music that was his first big break. He began directing plays with two pieces by Samuel Beckett, Play and Happy Days.

In the Eighties Minghella started working in television. He wrote episodes of the series Maybury, Boon, The Storyteller, Inspector Morse, and Grange Hill (on which he was also the story editor). In 1990 he directed his first feature film, Truly, Madly, Deeply. From the Nineties into the Naughts, Minghella directed such films as The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Play, and Cold Mountain.

While I must confess that I never did care for The English Patient (in fact, I think it is Minghella's worst film), I have enjoyed Minghella's other films. While The Talented Mr. Ripley does depart from Patricia Highsmith's classic novel, it is still an entertaining thriller. I lso enjoyed Cold Mountain a good deal, finding it one of the better romances released in the past several years. I will not say that I think Anthony Minghella was a great director, but he was a good one. It is sad that he had to die so soon.

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