Screened as part of NZIFF 2003

Ripley's Game 2002

Directed by Liliana Cavani

Italy / UK In English
110 minutes 35mm



Ileen Maisel
Simon Bosanquet
Riccardo Tozzi


Charles McKeown, Liliana Cavani. Based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith


Alfio Contini


Jon Harris


Ennio Morricone


John Malkovich (Tom Ripley)
Dougray Scott (Jonathan Trevanny)
Ray Winstone (Reeves)
Lena Headey (Sarah Trevanny)
Chiara Caselli (Luisa Ripley)


Tom Ripley, the hypnotically amoral protagonist of Patricia Highsmith’s crime novels, is brilliantly interpreted by John Malkovich in a performance so dryly expressive that it is thrilling. Several years and several undetected murders on from the version of his character presented in The Talented Mr Ripley, he’s savouring the life of a landed aristocrat in Italy’s Veneto region. When his English picture-framer suggests that his ostentatious taste betrays questionable origins, Ripley amuses himself with a chillingly rococo revenge, trapping the honest artisan into the life of a hitman. Director Liliana Cavani of long-ago Night Porter notoriety, delivers suspense and psych-out with cool precision. “Ripley’s Game is a scary comedy of manners, recounting the dangerous liaison between a poor sap and a man who understands the world too well. Malkovich was born to play Ripley… This is more than perfect casting: he connects with Ripley on such a profound level that every gesture feels exactly right. The performance is a reminder of what a great actor Malkovich can be.” — Kent Jones, Film Comment