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Who is Anthony Minghella?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2016
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Anthony Minghella was an award winning director, writer and film producer whose death at the young age of 54 in 2008 was sincerely mourned as a significant loss to not only family but to the entertainment community at large. The British born Minghella had received an Academy Award for Best Director and two BAFTA awards. In addition, Minghella was a frequent nominee because of the extraordinary quality of his films and their provoking nature.

Minghella was born in 1954, and graduated from college at the University of Hull. After beginning graduate studies at the college, Anthony Minghella left to pursue a career as director. Some of his early works were in theater, but he soon began to amass television work credits as well. Of note was his collaboration as a writer on Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, airing in 1987, and his work as a writer on the popular TV series (airing in the US on PBS), Inspector Morse.

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A collaboration with BBC on the film Truly, Madly, Deeply directed and written by Anthony Minghella, led quite suddenly to the film world. Initially Truly, Madly, Deeply was supposed to be a television production. However the film when finished was so well received, it was released as a feature film instead. The 1990 release of the film brought Minghella rave reviews, both for writing and directing. The semi-comic film that looked in a creative way at the love that exists beyond death, and then imagines what would happen if the dead refused to leave, was called by some critics one of the best films of 1990.

In 1993, Anthony Minghella released his second film, Mr. Wonderful, which received at best mixed reviews. He bounced back with the critically acclaimed The English Patient in 1996, which garnered his Oscar win for Best Director. The Talented Mr. Ripley in 1999, received five Oscar nominations. The Sweeping Cold Mountain, was released in 2003. It has since been reviewed as one of the finest films ever made, and an extraordinary interpretation of the hero’s journey through the lens of the brutal American Civil War.

The 2006 Breaking and Entering was not so favorably reviewed. Other work done by Anthony Minghella was received more kindly. In particular, as a producer for films like The Interpreter, The Quiet American, and Michael Clayton, he has been praised for his insight. At the time of his death, he had wrapped production on a BBC adaptation of the popular novel, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.

Minghella was married to Carolyn Choa, and has two children, Hannah and Max. His parents, and three sisters also survive him. Just as he is personally remembered by his family — many of whom worked with him in his various productions — it is quite likely his films will stand as a continued reminder of an extraordinary talent for all movie lovers.

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