A 1950s Manhattan lavatory attendant, Tom Ripley, borrows a Princeton jacket to play piano at a garden party. When the wealthy father of a recent Princeton graduate chats Tom up, the latter pretends to know the son and is soon offered $1,000 to go to Italy to convince Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) to return home.
In Italy, Tom attaches himself to Dickie and to Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow), Dickie's cultured fiancée, pretending to love jazz and harbouring homoerotic hopes as he soaks in luxury. Anthony Minghella creates a beautiful, intricate and suspenseful story that enhances the thriller dimensions of Highsmith’s novel into a far more significant, emotionally tangled experience.
Through Damon’s performance and Minghella’s interpretation, each of Tom Ripley’s lies and murders has an emotional immediacy in a story of self-destruction so convincing, so compelling, that we want to believe Tom’s lies as much as he does. And when Tom’s elaborately constructed fantasy catches up with him, the result is just as heartbreaking for the viewer as it is for the character. The cast also includes Philip Seymour Hoffman and Cate Blanchett as Meredith Logue, a character not in the original novel. This film is also part of our strand Loving Highsmith