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Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella dies at 54


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  • Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella dies at 54

    Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella dies at 54

    By Reed Saxon, 1997 AP file photo
    Anthony Minghella, who earned an Oscar for helming The English Patient,
    succumbed to a hemorrhage that developed following neck surgery last week.

    By Jill Lawless
    Associated Press
    March 18, 2008

    LONDON — Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella, who turned such literary works as The English Patient,The Talented Mr. Ripley and Cold Mountain into acclaimed movies, died Tuesday of a hemorrhage following surgery. He was 54.

    Minghella's publicist, Jonathan Rutter, said the filmmaker died at London's Charing Cross Hospital. He said Minghella was operated on last week for a growth in his neck, "and the operation seemed to have gone well. At 5 a.m. today he had a fatal hemorrhage."

    Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who became friends with Minghella after the filmmaker directed a Labour Party election ad in 2005, said he was "really shocked and very sad."

    "Anthony Minghella was a wonderful human being, creative and brilliant, but still humble, gentle and a joy to be with," Blair said. "Whatever I did with him, personally or professionally, left me with complete admiration for him, as a character and as an artist of the highest caliber."

    The English Patient, the 1996 World War II drama, won nine Academy Awards, including best director for Minghella, best picture and best supporting actress for Juliette Binoche. Based on the celebrated novel by Canadian writer Michael Ondaatje, the movie tells of a burn victim's tortured recollections of his misdeeds in time of war.

    In a 1996 interview with The Associated Press, Minghella said the film was the pinnacle of his career at the time: "I feel more naked and more exposed by this piece of work than anything I've ever been involved with."

    He said too many modern films let the audience be passive, as if they were saying, "We're going to rock you and thrill you. We'll do everything for you."

    "This film goes absolutely against that grain," he said. "It says, 'I'm sorry, but you're going to have to make some connections. There are some puzzles here. The story will constantly rethread itself and it will be elliptical, but there are enormous rewards in that.'"

    Minghella (pronounced min-GELL'-ah) also was nominated for an Oscar for best screenplay for the movie and for his screenplay for The Talented Mr. Ripley.

    His 2003 Cold Mountain, based on Charles Frazier's novel of the U.S. Civil War, brought a best supporting actress Oscar for Renee Zellweger.

    The 1999 The Talented Mr. Ripley, starring Matt Damon as a murderous social climber, was based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith. It earned five Oscar nominations.

    Among his other films were Truly, Madly, Deeply (1990), and last year's Oscar-nominated Michael Clayton, on which he was executive producer.

    Minghella also turned his talents to opera. In 2005, he directed a highly successful staging of Puccini's Madama Butterfly at the English National Opera in London — choreographed by Minghella's wife, Carolyn Choa. The following year, he staged it for the season opener of New York's Metropolitan Opera. It was the first performance of the Met's new era under general manager Peter Gelb.

    Minghella was recently in Botswana filming an adaptation of Alexander McCall Smith's novel The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. It is due to air on British television this week.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  • #2
    Re: Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella dies at 54

    Such a huge loss. I had the great, good fortune to meet him and do some work for his films 'The English Patient', 'The Talented Mr. Ripley' and 'Cold Mountain.' He was easily one the most gracious, driven and supremely visionary directors I've had the pleasure to spend time with. Seeing the look of bliss on his face watching Jude Law and Nicole Kidman perform at the "Cold Mountain - Words and Music" event at UCLA is a treasured memory. His contributions to Miramax Films alone is incalculable. He will truly be missed.
    Last edited by ALIASd; 03-18-2008, 11:11 AM.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


    • #3
      Re: Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella dies at 54

      Jude Law Deeply Saddened by Anthony Minghella's Death

      Originally posted Tuesday March 18, 2008 12:35 PM EDT

      Law and Minghella in 2003
      Photo by: Carlo Allegri / Getty

      Jude Law is expressing his sadness and sending condolences over the death of his friend, director Anthony Minghella, who passed away at 54 early Tuesday.

      "I am deeply shocked and saddened to hear of Anthony's untimely death," said Law in a statement Tuesday. "I worked with him on three films, more than with any other director, but had come to value him more as a friend than as a colleague."

      Law worked with Minghella in the actor's breakthrough role as Dickie Greenleaf in 1999's The Talented Mr. Ripley. He also was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his work in Minghella's Cold Mountain and starred in the 2006 drama Breaking and Entering

      "He was a brilliantly talented writer and director who wrote dialogue that was a joy to speak and then put it onto the screen in a way that always looked effortless," says Law. "He made work feel like fun. He was a sweet, warm, bright and funny man who was interested in everything from football to opera, films, music, literature, people and most of all his family whom he adored and to whom I send my thoughts and love. I shall miss him hugely.",00.html
      "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


      • #4
        Re: Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella dies at 54

        I am really shocked and saddened by this news. What a loss of talent! He had so much left to do.

        I loved The English Patient (I know, it was looooong), The Talented Mr. Ripley, and most especially Cold Mountain. I didn't see Breaking and Entering, but I really did admire his work.

        How fortunate you were, Aliasd, to have met him.


        • #5
          Re: Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella dies at 54

          I had forgotten that Minghella did this until Moriarity at Aint it Cool News wrote about it, but my favorite thing he ever worked on was Henson's "The Storyteller". He adapted all the stories for that series. They are all terrific, especially "The Old Soldier and Death", which is my favorite. I know the story by heart and can retell it.


          • #6
            Re: Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella dies at 54

            Juliette Binoche reflects on friend and director Anthony Minghella

            Mar 19, 2008, 08:10 PM
            by Ari Karpel
            Entertainment Weekly

            Juliette Binoche has shared with a poem she wrote upon learning that Anthony Minghella had died on Tuesday. Minghella directed the actress in the 1996 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, The English Patient (for which Binoche won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar), as well as in his last completed film, 2006's Breaking and Entering.
            "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


            • #7
              Re: Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella dies at 54

              Originally posted by ALIASd View Post
              Juliette Binoche reflects on friend and director Anthony Minghella
              Thank you for posting this. What a lovely tribute she gave her friend.


              • #8
                Re: Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella dies at 54

                Thanks, I found it to be quite lovely and touching.
                "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


                • #9
                  Re: Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella dies at 54

                  The Final Cut
                  Anthony Minghella: A Novel Approach

                  Give the late director credit for being one of the rare filmmakers who truly respected the importance
                  of a beautifully crafted script -- and who delivered time after time

                  ANTHONY MINGHELLA
                  ''One of the rare filmmakers truly, madly, deeply in love with the maddening puzzle of how to make a plot unfold''
                  Photo: Fabian Cevallos

                  By Mark Harris
                  Entertainment Weekly
                  Mark Harris is a writer and former executive editor of EW

                  In the heartfelt tributes that followed the sudden death of director Anthony Minghella on March 18, one of his greatest virtues too often went underappreciated: Minghella was a terrific writer. Beyond the fact that he wrote almost all his own screenplays — for Truly, Madly, Deeply, for The English Patient, for Cold Mountain, for The Talented Mr. Ripley, and for what will stand as his final film, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency — Minghella was one of the rare contemporary filmmakers truly, madly, deeply, and unfashionably in love with the maddening puzzle of how to make a plot unfold. He was fascinated with what novelists could do to create stories — and inspired by the uphill task of reinventing those stories for the movies.

                  Time and again, Minghella would set himself up for defeat by picking a novel that seemed to have found its perfect form on the page, and challenging himself to find a cinematic language in which to retell it — an approach that would honor the original material while standing on its own. That enterprise is, more often than not, doomed to failure. To attempt it is to resign oneself to the fact that a slew of critics — and moviegoers — will inevitably judge your work in comparison to something that they've already experienced and loved. ''The book was better'' is the epitaph for so many adaptations of beloved books that it takes a unique combination of humility and stoicism to spend one's career fighting those odds.
                  "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


                  • #10
                    Re: Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella dies at 54

                    How sad, only 54.


                    • #11
                      Re: Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella dies at 54

                      Shia LaBeouf, Julie Christie join 'Love'

                      By Borys Kit and Gregg Goldstein
                      The Hollywood Reporter

                      April 9, 2008
                      Shia LaBeouf (Getty Images photo)

                      Shia LaBeouf, Julie Christie and John Hurt are starring in the late Anthony Minghella-scripted segment of "New York, I Love You," an anthology of 12 short films set in each of the city's five boroughs.

                      "Love" is being helmed by a coterie of directors, including Natalie Portman, who is making her writing and directing debut.

                      Those cast in the anthology film include Hayden Christensen, Rachel Bilson, Chris Cooper, Anton Yelchin, Drea de Matteo, Ethan Hawke and Kevin Bacon.

                      Among those directing are such notables as Allen Hughes, Brett Ratner and Scarlett Johansson. Johansson's entry follows the journey of a lonely man and his vision of the city.

                      The movie follows on the heels of the similarly formatted "Paris, je t'aime," which dealt with love encounters in the City of Lights.

                      The next city to get the anthology treatment, under what is being called the "Cities of Love" franchise, is Shanghai, followed by a location in South America and then Africa.

                      LaBeouf and Christie's segment, written by the late Minghella and directed by Shekhar Kapur, who stepped in after the director died, centers on a woman who checks into a hotel that is in between worlds. There, she meets a young man and the two discover not only a mysterious connection but develop an understanding as to their situation. The short is described as being similar to Minghella's breakout film, "Truly Madly Deeply." Production is under way on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
                      LaBeouf next stars in "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and "Eagle Eye." He is repped by Endeavor, John Crosby Management and lawyer Matt Saver.

                      Christie, enjoying a late-career resurgence, is coming off an Oscar nomination for her work in Sarah Polley's "Away From Her." She is repped by Endeavor.
                      "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


                      • #12
                        Re: Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella dies at 54

                        Musical Tribute To Anthony Minghella By Oscar Winner Gabriel Yared Set For The Ghent International Film Festival, October 15th

                        Release Date: July 6th, 2008

                        Ghent, Belgium (July 1, 2008) - A unique musical tribute to director Anthony Minghella has been set for October 15th at the 35th edition of the Ghent International Film Festival in Ghent, Belgium. Oscar winner Gabriel Yared, who was Minghella's long-time collaborator on the films The English Patient, Cold Mountain and The Talented Mr. Ripley, will conduct a concert honouring Minghella's work, featuring suites that Yared composed for those films. The concert will be performed by a chamber orchestra and soprano solo, a deliberate decision by Yared to preserve the intimacy of the event. Members of his family are expected to be in attendance.

                        Gabriel Yared is one of the most accomplished and influential composers of his generation. Born in Lebanon, he began composing film music in France in the 80's, establishing his reputation with more than 70 soundtracks for directors such as Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Jacques Annaud. Yared won an Oscar for his score for The English Patient as well as a Golden Globe and a Grammy in addition to receiving Oscar nominations for The Talented Mr Ripley and Cold Mountain. Yared's score for Cold Mountain earned him both, the Composer of the Year and Best Original Soundtrack at the 2004 World Soundtrack Awards.
                        "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


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