The English Patient

The English Patient

Anthony Minghella (1996)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Inevitably recalling Lawrence of Arabia with its desert setting and epic sweep, this skilful adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's difficult novel is at heart two love stories, one in the present, the other told in flashback. Ralph Fiennes plays the hideously burned "English patient" tended to by Juliette Binoche's nurse in an Italian monastery at the end of the Second World War. His story, torrid and dangerous, is pieced together gradually, while Binoche falls in love with a bomb disposal officer (Naveen Andrews). Fiennes is in fact a Hungarian, a mapmaker charting the Sahara who got caught up in the war and in an affair with the unhappily married Kristin Scott Thomas. It's an ambitious film and director Anthony Minghella's skill lies equally in his screenplay, which delivers explanation only in fragments but keeps us involved for what is an epic running time.


The enigmatic, badly burned survivor of a Second World War plane crash is tended by a French-Canadian nurse in a derelict Italian monastery. He tells her the story of his passionate love affair with a married Englishwoman. Anthony Minghella's Oscar-winning romantic drama, based on the novel by Michael Ondaatje, starring Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Naveen Andrews, Colin Firth and Kevin Whately.

Cast & Crew

Count Laszlo Almasy Ralph Fiennes
Hana Juliette Binoche
Caravaggio Willem Dafoe
Katharine Clifton Kristin Scott Thomas
Kip Naveen Andrews
Geoffrey Clifton Colin Firth
Madox Julian Wadham
Major Müller Jürgen Prochnow
Hardy Kevin Whately
Fenelon-Barnes Clive Merrison
D'Agostino Nino Castelnuovo
Fouad Hichem Rostom
Oliver Geordie Johnson
Mary Torri Higginson
Jan Lisa Repo-Martell
Rupert Douglas Raymond Coulthard
Director Anthony Minghella
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Buena Vista International UKGuidance: Contains violence, swearing, drug abuse and sex scenes.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray