“English Patient” a Dramatic Epic

Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient (A-) is about love lost, planes crashed, bodies destroyed, candles extinguished and memories forever buried in the sand of a lonely desert. Gorgeously shot and leisurely paced with a modern story and flashbacks, the film includes a central doomed romance in pre-WWII North Africa between Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas and a subplot with Juliette Binoche (all outstanding performances) as a devoted nurse who connects several subplots. Unlocking the mysteries is part of the intellectual adventure, and those who are interested in austere and thought-provoking cinema masterworks will find sumptuous subtext in this challenging drama.