The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Matt Damon is one of the most talented actors of his generation. He broke onto the scene in the 90s with the likes of Good Will Hunting and Saving Private Ryan, among others. He showed an ability to turn in great performances in prestige dramas as well as mainstream hits.
In The Talented Mr. Ripley, he takes a turn to the darker side right before the turn of the century. This movie is almost two different films in one. It starts as a joyful, upbeat and fun watch in its first hour, but the rest of the way, it’s a dark thriller that you can’t look away from.
Jude Law makes the most of his cut-short screen time and steals the movie – he’s the reason the first half is as endlessly engaging as it is. His performance of Tu Vuò Fà L’Americano is one of the most rewatchable moments ever put to film.
But the second half of this movie gets into some deep and existential questions about identity and what it would take to be the person you really want to be. As Ripley’s (Damon) life unravels, the viewer is presented with the exact messages that director Anthony Minghella is sending. We are who we are for a reason, and it’s important to come to terms with that, instead of masquerading as a fake version of ourselves.