As the recent documentary Casting By argues, choosing the right actors for a movie is as much of an artform as directing, editing, cinematography… even acting itself. So let’s give a hand to David Rubin, who helped the late writer-director Anthony Minghella cast the elegant, corroded 1999 adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith thriller The Talented Mr. Ripley. Rubin and Minghella didn’t just grab some of the hottest young actors in the business at the time, they grabbed the right hot young actors: Matt Damon as the needy impostor Tom Ripley; Jude Law as jaded, manipulative playboy Dickie Greenleaf; Gwyneth Paltrow as the not-as-breezy-as-she-seems Marge Sherwood; and Cate Blanchett as the dangerously friendly Meredith Logue. The actors play off each other, showing both a surface graciousness and a darker underbelly. Nobody exemplifies this better than Philip Seymour Hoffman, who’s only in about five minutes of the film, but has a hilariously boorish quality that represents everything that Ripley both disdains and envies. It’s the right performance, in the right spot. The Talented Mr. Ripley is on HBO tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern.
January 07, 2015 Cable Pick Of The Day