Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It is the work that lives on

Talk about someone that left us too soon -- and he was the same age as my parents (both, thankfully, still living). Minghella's work as a screenwriter was equaled only by his finesse as a filmmaker and his talent at drawing nuanced performances from some of the finest actors on the planet. His DVD commentaries are master classes in film, art and life; he is already missed.

Bizarrely enough, just last evening I watched Atonement, Joe Wright's film of the Ian McEwan novel, and was surprised to see Minghella pop up in the film's final sections, in his only onscreen acting role as a television interviewer. Proof positive that it is always the work that lives on.
Minghella was born Jan. 6, 1954 on the Isle of Wight, where his Italian parents ran a successful ice-cream business. He became a lecturer at Hull University, and started carving a reputation as a writer for the stage, radio and TV. He penned episodes of detective drama “Inspector Morse” and high school series “Grange Hill,” and created the Jim Henson miniseries “The Storyteller: Greek Myths.”

“Truly, Madly, Deeply,” his directorial debut from his own script, won him a BAFTA for best original screenplay. He won the best director Oscar for “The English Patient” in 1997, which also earned him an adapted screenplay nomination. He got another Oscar nomination in 2000 for the screenplay of “The Talented Mr Ripley.”

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