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The English Patient


Year: 1996 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Anthony Minghella 
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe  
An image from The English Patient

The end of WWII is close; Count Laszlo de Almasy (Ralph Fiennes) is horribly burned in a plane crash and cannot remember anything. Nursed by Hana (Juliette Binoche), he slowly regains his memory, and we are told the story of his fateful love affair with married Katharine (Kristin Scott Thomas) through flashbacks.

Based on the novel by Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient won a total of nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Aside from the outstanding performances by the entire cast, the music by Gabriel Yared is breathtaking. The beautiful orchestra combined with exotic traditional sounds encapsulates the underlying theme of geographical and cultural differences/borders. As lightly as the sand blown by the wind which slowly reveals the beautiful desert landscape, immediately you are swept into this picturesque world of the film.

Can love exist in this chaotic world of war and betrayal, where the roads are filled with mines and people are always overshadowed by death? The film is a collage of ideas, rich and grand in scale with complex stories blended in together beautifully. Watching it on DVD is one thing, but seeing it on the big screen is a whole new experience which you definitely do not want to miss out on. For decades to come it will remain engraved in your memory.

The English Patient is an exploration of love, fate, hope, memory and passion. The brilliant cinematography has composed poetry for the screen, and everything, from the dialogue to the colours, is extremely tasteful – it’s nothing but pure aesthetic pleasure.

Elly Hart

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Screenings of this film:

1997/1998 Autumn Term (35mm)
1997/1998 Autumn Term (35mm)
1997/1998 Autumn Term (35mm)
1997/1998 Autumn Term (35mm)
2011/2012 Spring Term (35mm)