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Anthony Minghella

Anthony Minghella

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Cold Mountain DVD "Cold Mountain" (2003) is directed by Anthony Minghella, and based on Charles... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

The English Patient DVD "The English Patient" (1996) is a romantic drama that is based on the novel by... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Died: March 18, 2008
Born: January 6, 1954 Cause of Death: hemorrhage
Birth Place: Isle of Wight, England, GB Profession: screenwriter, director, playwright, songwriter, teacher, ice cream vendor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Because of his start as a writer, actor and teacher in theater, filmmaker Anthony Minghella directed some of the most emotionally compelling films of the late-20th century and beyond. Ever since his directorial debut, "Truly Madly Deeply" (1990), it was evident that Minghella was on a path to make films of extraordinary depth and richly-textured nuance. When he made his multi-Academy Award winning epic, "The English Patient" (1996), Minghella's status as a top shelf writer-director who was able to compel great performances from actors was only confirmed. He continued forging his legacy with strong adaptations of difficult novels, "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999) and "Cold Mountain" (2003), both of which earned critical kudos and numerous award nominations. After delving into opera with a 2005 staging of "Madame Butterfly" and helming the sub-par comedy-drama, "Breaking and Entering" (2006), Minghella's artistic output was cut short at the age of 54, when he died suddenly from a fatal brain hemorrhage. But he left behind a strong, yet incomplete body of work that would long rival the great directors of any generation.

Because of his start as a writer, actor and teacher in theater, filmmaker Anthony Minghella directed some of the most emotionally compelling films of the late-20th century and beyond. Ever since his directorial debut, "Truly Madly Deeply" (1990), it was evident that Minghella was on a path to make films of extraordinary depth and richly-textured nuance. When he made his multi-Academy Award winning epic, "The English Patient" (1996), Minghella's status as a top shelf writer-director who was able to compel great performances from actors was only confirmed. He continued forging his legacy with strong adaptations of difficult novels, "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999) and "Cold Mountain" (2003), both of which earned critical kudos and numerous award nominations. After delving into opera with a 2005 staging of "Madame Butterfly" and helming the sub-par comedy-drama, "Breaking and Entering" (2006), Minghella's artistic output was cut short at the age of 54, when he died suddenly from a fatal brain hemorrhage. But he left behind a strong, yet incomplete body of work that would long rival the great directors of any generation.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Breaking and Entering (2006) Director
2.
  Cold Mountain (2003) Director
3.
  The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) Director
4.
  English Patient, The (1996) Director
5.
  Mr. Wonderful (1993) Director
6.
  Truly Madly Deeply (1990) Director
7.
  Perseus & the Gorgon (1997) Series Creator ("The Storyteller")
8.
  Theseus & the Minotaur (1997) Series Creator ("The Storyteller")
9.
  Orpheus & Eurydice (1997) Series Creator ("The Storyteller")
10.
  Three Ravens, The (1997) Creator ("The Storyteller")

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Atonement (2007)
5.
 Last Morse, The (2001) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised on the Isle of Wight
1975:
Made stage directing debut with own play "Mobius the Stripper" in England
1976:
Lectured in drama at the University of Hull
1981:
Enjoyed modest success with play "Whale Music"
1983:
Wrote teleplays for the British series "Studio"
1986:
Earned notice for his West End debut, "Made in Bangkok" about the exploitation of women in Thailand
1986:
Scripted the British teleplay "What If It's Raining?"
1987:
Wrote for the English TV series, "Inspector Morse"
1990:
Wrote for the series "The Storyteller" (NBC), produced by Jim Henson
1988:
Penned the BBC radio play "Cigarettes and Chocolate"
1989:
Wrote for "The Jim Henson Hour" (NBC)
1989:
Scripted the British TV-movie "Living with Dinosaurs"
1990:
Feature directorial debut, "Truly, Madly, Deeply"; also scripted
:
Contributed to the screenplay for "The Doctor"; did not receive final screen credit
1993:
First American film, "Mr. Wonderful" starring Matt Dillon
1996:
International breakthrough feature (wrote and directed), "The English Patient"; film received 12 Academy Award nominations and won nine, including Best Picture and Best Director
1999:
Adapted (also directed) for the screen, "The Talented Mr. Ripley"; first collaboration with Jude Law; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Directing and an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay
2000:
Formed Mirage Enterprises with Sydney Pollack
2003:
Helmed (also wrote screenplay) the feature adaptation of Charles Frazier's Civil War-era novel "Cold Mountain" starring Jude Law; earned Golden Globe nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay
2005:
Directed the highly successful staging of Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" at the English National Opera in London; choreographed by his wife, Carolyn Choa
2006:
Wrote (also directed) the original screenplay, "Breaking and Entering"; third collaboration with Jude Law
2007:
Executive produced the Oscar-nominated, "Michael Clayton"
2008:
Adapted and directed the pilot episode of "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" starring Jill Scott and based on the novels by Alexander McCall Smith; aired on BBC within a week of his death in 2008; began airing in the US in 2009
2009:
Co-wrote with Michael Tolkin, the screenplay adaptation of the Broadway musical, "Nine" (released posthumously)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Hull: - 1975
University of Hull: - 1975

Notes

Made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in June 2001.

"I directed before I wrote. When I was a student, I was directing. I had no thoughts of becoming a writer. My thoughts were about how to make music, how to direct music, how to be involved as a musician and a director in the theater and film, or something. I had written a series of songs that I wanted to lace together into some event to direct, and in lacing together, I found myself writing scenes. And what happened was I found something in that process which really intrigued me, and almost accidentally found myself writing for a living. And the thing that I would say without any hesitation is I'm a writer who directs. I think it would be tragic for me if I didn't direct another film; I think it would be impossible for me to stop writing." --Anthony Minghella quoted in Written By, March 1997.

"I made a pact with John Seale, the cinematographer, and production designer Stuart Craig ,., that we would never invest in the landscape. There is no shot in the film ["The English Patient"] which begins on some gorgeous scenery or bit of architecture. We were interested only in that activity generated by character which requires you to look beyond an elbow or a neck." --Anthony Minghella quoted in the London Times, March 3, 1997.

On his screenplay for "The English Patient", Minghella told the London Times (March 3, 1997): "the camera is so prosaic that the film required a full frame, a much denser architecture than the novel. I suppose there's a certain literalness to the way I've done the screenplay - although, in relation to other screenplays, it's wild."

"Yes, we weren't keen at first [on Minghella's decision to pursue a career in the arts and not to work in the ice cream business], his mother was horrified, but how could we have anticipated what would happen." --Edward Minghella (Anthony's father) to the London Times, March 26, 1997.

"The advantage I have when I walk on a set with my own writing is that I know every beat and impulse and nuance of it because it's come directly through me, and so there's nothing I don't know about the screenplay. It means I'm free to let go of it completely." --Minghella to DGA Magazine, May-June 1997.

"I was trained as an academic, but my instincts as a writer are unintellectual. There's nothing 'from the head' when I go to make movies. I'm interested in emotional journeys rather than theoretical ones. 'The Talented Mr. Ripley', for instance, is very influenced by Italian filmmakers like Fellini, De Sica, the Taviani brothers and Rossellini, whose movies have an enormous spirit of humanity that doesn't judge, doesn't simplify. I love that, and I think that like them, 'Ripley' has an operatic edge to it--it's naked, raw and emotional." --Minghella quoted in Movieline, December 1999-January 2000.

Stephen Rebello: ... Have you found yourself surprised, delighted, bemused by what projects were offered you?

Anthony Minghella: No, because I knew what I was going to do next. I'm not really in the marketplace for the kind of opportunities which accrue to directors who have some success. I'm not for hire. There's nobody and nothing in "The English Patient" I didn't want in it, and it was made entirely the way I wanted, If it didn't work, it was my problem. I fell entirely the same about "Ripley". I'll stand passionately by the result.

--From Movieline, December 1999-January 2000.

"He's the infra-red end of the spectrum of collaboration. Ultra-violet is someone like Milos Forman, who has a team of editors and tells them how to make every cut. Anthony gives me freedom and responsibility. But he asks for advice from everyone on the picture. He even asked Miramax and Paramount! He listens to everyone, and when people really think you're listening they'll give you strange and valuable ideas. But when we're editing it's just the two of us. There is no other stage after us, and really what I feel we're doing is completing the script-writing process." --editor Walter Murch on working with Anthony Minghella to David Thomson in The New York Times, December 19, 1999.

On why he had to direct "The Talented Mr. Ripley" for which he wrote the screenplay before directing "The English Patient", Minghella told Eric Harrison of theLos Angeles Times (December 19, 1999): "I felt such a profound connection with the material that I couldn't bear the thought of somebody else doing it."

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Carolyn Choa. Producer, choreographer.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Edward Minghella. Ice cream factory owner. Moved to Isle of Wight from Italy; played bit role in "The English Patient".
mother:
Gloria Minghella. Ice cream factory owner. Moved to Isle of Wight from Italy; played bit role in "The English Patient".
son:
Max Minghella. Born c. 1985; mother, Carolyn Choa.

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