Let’s go back to Italy with Jude Law, Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow in the movie The Talented Mr. Ripley. It’s the story of Tom Ripley, the classic hanger-on, who is hired by the father of a rich young man to go to Italy and talk him into returning to the United States and the family business. Father and Son are estranged and the son, Dickie Greenleaf, played by Jude Law, does not speak to his father. Tom sees this opportunity to belong, to be part of the in crowd and latches on to Dickie and his girlfriend, Marge (Gwynneth Paltrow) after pretending he was an old college friend of Dickie’s though Dickie doesn’t remember him. He accepts him anyway because it suits him at the time but Marge is uncomfortable with this clingy intruder. Tom soon tries to take over Dickie’s life, manipulating and covering his tracks. Matt Damon plays the creepy Tom with hair raising accuracy.
The action starts in a little village in Sicily called Mongibello. The real life island of Ischia and a nearby smaller island are the locations used for this part of the movie. The villa, the beaches the water are all drenched in Mediterranean sunshine. Later the action moves to Rome and there are great location shots of the squares, narrow streets and sometimes more famous sights like the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona or a glimpse of the dome of St. Peter’s. Tom soon finds things closing in on him and he runs off to Venice. There we get views of the Grand Canal, Piazza San Marco and the faded but elegant palazzos.
This is another of my favourite films, one I haven’t seen in awhile so I was delighted to catch the last half of it recently on television (even thought I do own the DVD). I like the cast and the story and the locations are very alluring. I’ve not been to Sicily or to any similar small rural coastal villages in Italy but they make it look so inviting in this film! The views of Rome are, of course, familiar due to my most recent trip and I have been to Venice in the past.
There are more photos and descriptions of all the locations here.