Anthony Minghella—Brilliant Writer/Director Who Died Too Soon (January 6, 1954–March 18, 2008)
“Minghella was interested in the poetry, lavishing the viewer with story and scope and richness. There was a real authenticity to his work. He made movies about the world we live in, where stuff happened that no one could have anticipated.”
– Sydney Pollack
Minghella was born on the Isle of Wright, an island off the south coast of England. His parents, born in Italy, ran a stand selling Italian ice cream. Minghella was an accomplished pianist but he gave up a career in music to work for the BBC. He honed his craft writing and directing short episodes. He gained recognition when he did a masterful job writing and directing the feature drama, Truly, Madly, Deeply.
Minghella also directed and supervised a production of Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly. Peter Gelb, General Manager at the time of the Metropolitan Opera, stated, “Anthony was the opposite of the prissy, hysterical director. He was calm and intelligent and persuasive, whether he was talking to a Board member or a member of the stage crew.”
He died too soon, only 53 years old. In his short career he wrote and directed these three extraordinary films, winning a Best Director Oscar for The English Patient. He also received a Golden Globes nomination for The Talented Mr. Ripley and Golden Globes nominations for Best Director and Best Screenwriter for Cold Mountain.
Each can be streamed:
Surprising (and Unjust) Oscar Winners
The Oscars are behind us but what usually lingers are the most talked-about upsets. Some winners, considered so undeserved, outraged the Hollywood community.
Here are ten examples:
1941- How Green Was My Valley beat Citizen Kane
1950- Judy Holliday (Born Yesterday) beat Bette Davis (All About Eve)
1952- The Greatest Show on Earth beat High Noon
1961- George Chakiris (West Side Story) beat Montgomery Clift (Judgment at Nuremberg)
1976- Beatrice Straight (Network) beat Jodie Foster (Taxi)
1968- Oliver beat A Lion in Winter
1980- Ordinary People beat Raging Bull
1993- Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny) beat Vanessa Redgrave (Howards End)
1999- Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan
1994- Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive) beat Ralph Fiennes (Schindler’s List)
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