The Talented Mr. Ripley 1999
To be young and carefree amid the blue waters and idyllic landscape of sun-drenched Italy in the late 1950s; that’s la dolce vita Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) craves- and Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) leads. When Dickie’s father asks Tom to bring his errant playboy son back home to America, Dickie and his beautiful expatriate girlfriend, Marge Sherwood (Gwyneth Paltrow), never suspect the dangerous extremes to which Ripley will go to make their lifestyle his own.
After a short, ominous monologue of Tom Ripley, the movie starts at a cheerful and yet formal cocktail party, in which Tom accompanies a singer, Fran, on the piano. The work they perform is in the style of classical music. After the party Tom has to rush to his day job—helping gentlemen groom themselves in the restroom of an opera house. He peaks into the performance, Beethoven’s Piano Quartet in E-flat major, op. 16. Then, after the concert is over, Tom plays Bach’s Italian Concerto.
The so-called classical music is Tom’s world. What is classical music then? The term “classical music” generally refers to the music of the Western tradition. To the general public, classical music seems uptight and strict, as the musicians play from the scores and should not improvise. The audience in a classical music concert should not applaud during movements. This stereotype quickly establishes Tom’s personality—nervous, rigid, and worrisome.
The other character, Dickie Greenleaf, is a big jazz fan. He is obviously very different from Tom. He is a free soul and spontaneous; he plays jazz saxophone and nothing in the world worries him. It does not matter that jazz musicians have to know music theory and practice all kinds of patterns to prepare for the seemingly spontaneous improvisation on stage; people’s impression of jazz is that it just happens in the moment. Dickie’s character is exactly that.
He names his boat “Bird,” the nickname of Charlie Parker. To attract Dickie’s attention, Tom brings some jazz LPs and “accidentally” drops on the floor, including the LPs of Chet Baker, Sony Rollins, and of course Charlie Parker. The music Dickie performs at night clubs are spontaneous like “Tu Vuo’ Fa l’Americano” or jazz standard like “My Funny Valentine.” Playing his saxophone, Dickie is seen in his own element on the stage; like a jazz player is supposed to be, Dickie is confident, free, happy, living in the moment. When Tom is dragged on to the stage, he is uncomfortable and uses his talent “impersonating” to sing the vocal part in “My Funny Valentine.” In jazz, Tom impersonates the voice; in Dickie’s world, Tom will eventually impersonate Dickie.
1. Matt Damon, Jude Law, Fiorello And The Guy Barker International Quintet – Tu Vuo’ Fa L’Americano (3:02)
2. Matt Damon And The Guy Barker International Quintet – My Funny Valentine (2:33)
3. Gabriel Yared – Italia (1:37)
4. Sinead O’Connor – Lullaby For Cain (3:29)
5. Gabriel Yared – Crazy Tom (4:44)
6. Charlie Parker – Ko-Ko (2:51)
7. Miles Davis – Nature Boy (4:45)
8. Gabriel Yared – Mischief (2:25)
9. Gabriel Yared – Ripley (3:27)
10. Guy Barker, Pete King, Iain Dixon, Robin Aspland, Arne Somogyi And Clark Tracey – Pent-Up House (2:37)
11. Marino Marini – Guaglione (3:14)
12. The Guy Barker International Quintet – Moanin’ (4:14)
13. Gabriel Yared – Proust (1:56)
14. Guy Barker, Pete King, Iain Dixon, Robin Aspland, Arne Somogyi And Clark Tracey – Four (3:39)
15. Gabriel Yared – Promise (2:46)
16. Dizzy Gillespie – The Champ (2:42)
17. Gabriel Yared – Syncopes (4:46)
18. Clifford Gurdin And The London Metropolitan Ensemble – Stabat Mater (Excerpt) (2:53)
19. John Martyn And The Guy Barker International Quintet – You Don’t Know What Love Is (5:23)