Hey folks, Harry here... Here's yet another of the Patricia Highsmith adapted Ripley stories turned feature films... this time with Barry Pepper as the mysterious Tom Ripley and being directed by Roger Spottiswoode. The film doesn't yet have a release date in 2004, but it has a helluva cast... Pepper is joined by Tom Wilkinson, Willem Dafoe, Alan Cumming, Ian Hart, Claire Forlani and Jacinda Barrett. So without further ado, I turn it to you...
Harry, This is not a review, but a note.
Last night I caught wind of a test screening for the latest movie with Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley character. First there was "?Purple Noon" which was re-made into "The Talented Mr. Ripley", then "The American Friend"which was remade into "Ripley's Game" and now "Ripley Underground"aka "White on White"
The test screening was at San Francisco State University so it was a tough crowd of film students, and still the response was very positive. Some good comments did come up in the post-showing Q&A session with the producer (Stephen Ujlaki) & one of the screenwriters (don't know her name) afterward.
At the beginning the audience was warned that it was the second run through of the Director's cut, so it was going to be a bit awkward. It was a good rough directors cut. Though the story is having some identity issues as to whether or not it's a Psychological Thriller or Drama or a Dark Comedy. Personally I hope they balance it more towards the comedy because it had a lot of really good laughs, though I'm not sure all were intentional. They also put a sweet romance into the mix which doesn't fit the thriller category either.
What really makes the movie though is the acting. The lead of Tom Ripley is played by Barry Pepper, who did a good job, but paled in comparison to the supporting characters. Alan Cummings and Claire Forlani are just incredible in this movie and steal the screen every time they occupy it. Not even the venerable Willem Dafoe can wrestle the screen presence away from Cummings in their scene together. Not to say Dafoe didn't turn in his usual quality performance, even though his character was a bit weak, in my opinion.
Like I said this isn't a review, I'm not going to give up any plot details, but I just wanted to drop you a note to keep an eye out for this movie in 2004. It has lots of potential to be a really fun movie to dash into the air-conditioned theaters for during dog days of summer. Not a Need-To-See movie, but a Should-See movie.
And if anyone asks who sent you this piece of crap, tell em WestX