https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=665&reviewer=6

English Patient, The

Reviewed By spork-girl
Posted 09/08/98 10:57:00

"I'd like to thank the academy for being gullible."
3 stars (Average)

What the fuck. That's not a question. It is a statement to the academy. There is much to be said for pretty pictures in a movie, but that's why they have seperate catagories for cinematography and best picture.

I waited until the buzz had worn off this movie to see it. Until people had stopped saying "you HAVE to see it." No, I really don't. So in the end I saw it in a second run theatre and was fully prepared to like it or say I did. After all, my mommy was there. And in all honesty it was not a bad movie. but it was not a good movie. It was not the best picture of 1997. I am offended that the academy would think so. I feel they were seduced by it's "prettiness" and it's apparent, fake, "depth" and oh, isn't it poetic.

Bullshit.

For one thing, this movie needlessly showcase's Juliet Binoche. Her character is necessary to the plot, and in a novel it would be fine to delve into her psyche, to give her a love interest, and whatever. But in a movie which is already needlessly long, there is no reason for that. Maybe she was banging a producer. It made no sense to me, since the entire movie was built up around discovering Fiennes's deep dark secrets. So why not get to it? Oh, I forgot, it's so poetic to make us wait and drag it out even more. It's a shame because actually, Naveen Andrews is one of the more compelling actors. But his character could easily have been eliminated and making the piece more focused. That, and cutting down Binoche would have have made this movie much more interesting. I kept thinking, "and this has to do with what exactly? Whay am I looking at this? How long is this movie?"

Now allow me to get to the heart of the matter. The movie is really about Ralph Fiennes (pronounced RaLph Fee-enn-es, no matter what anyone tells you. My last name, Martin, isn't pronounce Mahin just because I say so) and why he's all burned and shit. So what follows is a slow series of flashbacks, where secrets are revealed slowly and shockingly. This part I don't mind. I'm all for intricate plots and secrets and lies and finding out the truth and all that. but when the truth itself is a let down and not shocking at all, then that kind of approach is futile. Not once was I like "ohmigod! so THAT's why he's trying to forget." And, when your leading man takes lessons from Captain Kirk in a drama that's supposed to be heartwrenching, that is not a good sign.

Kristin Scott Thomas was robbed, man. Of all the cahracters I wanted to learn more about, I'd like it to be the reason for the man's sorrow, but no, I get some french floozie.

So basically this movie was a big let-down. If you want to see a quality flick about war in the desrt full of pretty pictures, I highly reccomend Lawrence of Arabia. 3 sporks. And no best picture oscar for YOU!

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