The English Patient

The English Patient ★½

Wow, this beat Fargo for the best picture Oscar? In all honesty I'm not totally surprised, The English Patient tries hard to evoke the epic melodramatic romance films set in faraway lands that were so popular 30-40 years prior. The biggest problem with this film is that I couldn't stand the two leads. Kristin Scott Thomas and Ralph Fiennes play two smug aristocrats who I found completely obnoxious and detestable in every scene. Not only did they lack chemistry but they were so irritating it got to a point where I actually started to believe they would wind up together, as two annoying assholes often do, not to mention their poetic exchanges near the film's end were unbearable.

Things lighten up a bit as the other half of the movie takes place about a decade later. Fiennes dons his pre-voldemort makeup after a fiery place crash and Willam Dafoe is predictably great as a thumbless thief with a barely-related subplot. Juliette Binoche plays a nurse, and just kinda farts around some Italian villa until she finally gets laid by an exotic Indian soldier. As with most Oscar winners, there's some nice scenery, a couple of good performances but overall this film is so wonderbread it hurts.