Talented Mr. Ripley, The

Rated 4.0 Director Anthony Minghella’s adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s sly, macabre novel is a perversely lyrical study of character, and of period and places (Europe in the 1950s), chock-full and always interesting. Matt Damon provides a persuasively deceptive, and durably ironic, mask for the lethal desperation of the title character, who will kill a man he has only recently met and then assume the latter’s identity. Jude Law is especially fine as Dickie Greenleaf, the wealthy young sybarite to whom Ripley becomes variously, and disastrously, attached.