||Comments by Colin|
||Comments about Colin||
||Reviews of The English Patient||
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This complex film, adapted from Michael Ondaatje's evocative haunting novel, weaves plot and time and place in an intricate, ever more revealing dance. Set in Italy at the at the end of World War II, and in flashbacks to North Africa in the 1930's, the main thread concerns Count Laslo Almasy (Fiennes), a desert explorer, who had been horribly burned in a mysterious airplane crash, and his relationship with - in the present - his nurse Hana (Juliet Binoche), and in the past - his lover, Katharine Clifton (Kristin Scott Thomas). Katharine's husband of two years, Geoffrey Clifton (Colin Firth), who has known her from childhood, is a seemingly hearty Englishman whose jovial manner hides a life full of secrets and passions.
Hana, a French Canadian nurse, meets Kip (Naveen Andrews), a demolitions
expert with the American army who is by nationality an Indian, and a Sikh.
Their romance is carried out against the background of the remote Italian
convent where Hana has taken the English Patient to die.
About Colin's Character:
This outstanding film gave Colin Firth a chance to play the pivotal character in the Katharine/Almasy portion of the movie. His portrayal of a "typical English gentleman" of the time, but one who held secrets behind his amiable facade, was understated and delicate. Though limited in screen time, he left a lasting impression, especially in the scene where he watched his unfaithful wife return from an assignation. He also had a key part in the tragic scene that ends the relationship of Katharine and Almasy.
COMMENTS BY COLIN . . .
"You can't come on stage and act grief-stricken. That's histrionic. I think when you come on stage trying to be happy and then fight against grief, that's moving." [The Guardian, Feb. 10, 1996]
It "centers on five people, of whom I'm not one. I'm a rich champagne-toting English buffoon. My wife has an affair with Ralph's Fiennes's character. I discover the affair and turn out not to be a buffoon. . . " 11/10/96--Bart Mills's interview
On his role: "It was the English thing: violent emotion and pain well-disguised by jauntiness."
Coming soon: URL link to Jane's Firth articles page, for the full-length versions of articles from which quotes are taken.
COMMENTS ABOUT COLIN . . .
Colin gets to perform a delightful sequence around a desert campfire
in a game of "Forfeits." He must sing and dance to
"Yes, We Have No Bananas," and sing and dance he does in the most charming manner.
To see a small animation of Colin in this scene, click HERE.
The German paratroopers are wearing English uniforms and using English parachutes.
A British sergeant wears a Sunderland Football Club scarf with a logo not designed until the 1970s.
"Ralph seems to get all the women in this movie. It's never going to happen again."
Click on the above words for Colin's voice at the Hollywood premiere. He was interviwed briefly on E! in their coverage of the premiere. He attended with Alan Cumming and some friends. Some of the FOF were there to see him and get autographs.
As Clifton listens to a drunken Almasy tell the whole dinner party more than he should about Katharine, he begins to plot his revenge.
Click HERE to read an imagined last letter to Katharine from Geoffrey
REVIEWS of The English Patient
Lisa Warrington (The Friends of Firth):
I was particularly taken by the visual imagery Anthony Minghella created, and that's what I'm going to talk about here.The Boston Globe, November 22, 1996: "A sand-swept epic that pierces the heart," Jay Carr, The Boston Globe, November 22, 1996, Pg. E9.
I thought much of the film was exquisite, in its own terms. I also was delighted by the novel, and I see the changes and things omitted, though I like the film just for what it is - and I think it has its own poetry and imagery - which brings me to the opening image of the movie....
Click HERE to read the rest of Lisa's Review.
"The English Patient" begins with a great, spellbinding image - of a vintage prop plane's shadow passing over an undulating, seductively contoured orange desert. To see it is to be magically transported back in time and to be filled with both wonder and dread - wonder at the evocative visual poetry that is still the province of film, dread at the odds against the rest of the film living up to the power of that image....Time Magazine: NOVEMBER 11, 1996 VOL. 148 NO. 22
Click HERE to read the rest of this review
Rapture In The Dunes by Richard Corliss
From their green, damp, congested homelands, Europeans come to the North African desert and fall in love--as if into quicksand--with the dry vastness. Like T.E. Lawrence, they are awed by the womanly contours of the great desert dunes. Soon their faces are bronzed, their limbs burnished, their hair bleached, until they are the color of sand. These nomads-by-choice have become the Sahara.
Click HERE to read the rest of this review
FAVORITE QUOTES . . .
"Uxuriousness..that's my favorite kind of love. Excessive love of one's wife."
Click HERE to hear Colin say these words.
THE ENGLISH PATIENT RATINGS
LW "rating system":
|**||Still lovely, but . . .|
|*||Bad hair day|
|*****||Colin's acting ability|
|*****||The film in general|
|****||Ranking in the films of Colin Firth|
|*****||Watchability & rewind factor|
To come: Friends of Firth "The English Patient" ratings
|Visit Murph's "The English Patient" Book Store|
The Original Friends of Firth Website
Lisbeth's Colin Firth Timeline
Sharon's English Patient Snappys
Lisa's Overview of Colin's Career
The English Patient Academy Awards -- 1997
|Best Art Direction-Set Decoration
Best Costume Design
Best Film Editing
| Best Music, Original Dramatic
Christopher Newman (I)
David Parker (III)
Best Supporting Actress
Nominated Oscar Best Actor
Kristin Scott Thomas
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
This page written/assembled by Murph - Edited by Janet
It is part of a Firthland project on the films of Colin Firth.
Visit Murph's website- includes listings for other Firth websites
Snappy photos taken from video by Sharon
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