An "amazing gathering of film luminaries" are attending a weekend of mourning in and around London for the late director Anthony Minghella. A three-hour Catholic service was held this afternoon at St. Thomas More church in Swiss Cottage, a suburb of London. Elegant and heartfelt words were spoken about Minghella by Talented Mr. Ripley costars Matt Damon and Jude Law, English Patient author Michael Ondaatje and costar Juliette Binoche, and Minghella's producing colleague Harvey Weinstein (who also delivered a message on behalf of the ailing Sydney Pollack, who was Minghella's producing partner).
Dominic Minghella (the director's brother), Cold Mountain costar Renee Zellweger and Truly Madly Deeply costars Alan Rickman and Juliet Stevenson also attended. Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, the present and former Prime Minister of the UK, were there as well. Ditto widow Carolyn Minghella, daughter Hannah Minghella, an exec at Sony, and son Max Minghella, an actor.
" 'Ripley' has to be extraordinary," Anthony said about his next movie, "The Talented Mr. Ripley," the adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel. "Perhaps we should cast someone the audience doesn't know." We showed up with a VHS rough cut of a movie Bob and I were making called "Good Will Hunting." Anthony sat transfixed by Matt Damon and when it was over said, "He's Ripley."
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PRO: Damon's Jason Bourne, even more than Dan Craig's Bond, has reinvented the espionage thriller for a deracinated cameraphone age. Notably absent from the tabs, Damon brings a touch of class to everything he does and seems in complete control of his career, from the prestige projects to the rent checks. He's that Hollywood rarity: a serious actor who's not self-serious. (Just ask Sarah Silverman.)
CON: Damon's great, the Bourne movies are fantastic, but the phrase "Ooh! Let's go see that new Matt Damon movie!" has never been uttered outside of his agent's office. Is his non-Bourne career overly dependent on fratty collabs, Brad Pitt and Clooney?
"It's like I was two people," Whitacre said. "I assume that's why they chose Matt Damon for the movie, because he plays those roles that have such psychological intensity. In the 'Bourne' movies, he doesn't even know who he is.
"When you're working for three years undercover, you get to the point where you don't know who you are. There was one point where my wife said to me, 'Who do you work for now?'"