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Anthony Minghella, R.i.p.

Anthony Minghella, the ridiculously talented writer and director, died suddenly today of a brain hemorrhage. The news was sudden and shocking; Minghella had been busy finishing his latest movie, an adaptation of No 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Minghella had a remarkable career in the film industry, where he won an Academy Award for his beautiful direction of The English Patient. His gifts as a writer were equally impressive--he not only wrote The English Patient, but also penned the screenplay for his excellent adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley

I had the pleasure of spending a few days in Minghella's presence while he was busy filming Cold Mountain in South Carolina (he wrote this adaptation too, in case you are looking for a pattern). He was unbelievably kind and patient and well-spoken but what was most striking was the passion he had for his work. He seemed genuinely excited by the idea of sitting down (with total strangers) and discussing the smallest details of the next day's scenes. He will be sorely missed by all those who love movies.

--Isaac Chotiner