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An Epic Oscars Argument For The English Patient

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Kip lights a flare for Hana and ties her to a make-shift harness.
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Before hoisting her with his body weight upwards to view the beautiful artwork on the walls.
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One of the most wonderfully shot sequences in the whole film, Kip reminds Hana of some beauty in the word outside of war and heartbreak.
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The blatant use of lighting catches Hana’s wonder from all angles.
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When Kip is called away to disarm a bomb, Hana bikes to him.
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She is halted by the passing tanks and many soldiers celebrating what appears to be the end of the war.
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Kip is relieved to be still alive following a near-death experience attempting to disarm a huge explosive amidst shaky hands and rumbles from the celebrations above.
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Once out of harms way, the shaken Kip is reunited with a grateful Hana – their hug is the pinnacle of their bond, and a poignant highlight of the entire film.
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In jolly spirits, Hana returns to Almásy to inform him, quite obviously, that it is raining.
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Shot caught at the precise moment of lightning, Kip and Hardy carry the stretchered Almásy, joining Hana and Caravaggio in the delight of the downpour.
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Celebrations come to a halt when a bomb goes off in the village, Kip knowing it’s the same spot his friend Hardy is celebrating the end of the war.
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With the fresh loss of his friend, it is Kip’s moment to mourn the loss.
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In the conclusion of the back story with return to the desert when Geoffrey, with Katherine as his passenger, attempts to crash his plane on Almásy.
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The teary Almásy carries the wounded Katherine up the familiar path to the cave of swimmers – “You’re wearing the thimble.” he says. “Of course.” Katherine mutters, “You idiot. I always wear it. I’ve always worn it. I’ve always loved you.” – and Almásy crumbles.
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The use again of the flip point of view shots, so effective in The English Patient overall, between Almásy and Katherine…
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…and she asks him to promise he will come back, that he will never leave her.
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And so begins Almásy’s incredible journey on foot across golden sands – here barely visible in a shot reminiscent of a certain character introduction from Lawrence of Arabia.
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Another showy framing of Almásy walking in front of the lowered sun.
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As fresh as the opening moments, John Seale once again captures the depths of the bumpy desert.
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Stunning shot of Hana peering out to see Kip, about to leave on his motorbike – the reflection of the second window is like a painting of the trees we first saw when we were introduced to the monastery.
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With his story almost over, Almásy musters the strength to suggest to Hana that he give her a fatal dose of the morphine.
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The finite, heart-breaking look from Hana, a woman who knows she must respect his last wishes.
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An inevitable glare from Almásy, these are his final moments.
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As Hana prepares the lethal dose, she breaks down, about to lose someone close once again.
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Hana reads the last of his book to Almásy, the words Katherine has written for him while she awaited his return to the cave of swimmers.
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Almásy returns to the cave, Katherine now having passed, he takes her in the plane as we join the opening before he is shot down. These air shots nod back to Out of Africa, directed by Sydney Pollack, who was a huge part of the film’s production.
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One of Anthony Minghella’s favorites shots in the movie. The now empty room Hana takes one last glance before leaving.
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But not before taking Almásy’s book with her.
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Caravaggio having hustled transport away, Hana sits in the back of the truck looking back at the monastery as they finally leave it behind.
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With all the heartache in The English Patient, Minghella still wanted some kind of optimism in the film’s final moments. With the help of the magnificent Juliette Binoche, and the shimmering cinematography of John Seale, he somehow pulled it off.

Well done if you have made it to the end. All your comments and thoughts are most welcome below.

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