#10 - Purple Noon (1960) René Clément - 1/12/2013
Purple Noon is bright, lush decadence. Sun-washed streets and care-free jaunts around Europe. Endless time, endless money. The world is populated with painfully beautiful people, none more so than Alain Delon, in his first major role. The film is desire - all-consuming desire, sexual desire, desperate desire.
Purple Noon is the first film adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. Alain Delon plays Tom Ripley, a man whose desire is his driving force. He is marvelous - pathetic, yearning, suave, brutal. Watching him, you wonder how his life is not perfect, and if only you were as beautiful, your life would be perfect too.
For most of the film the pace is slow and languid, matching the feel of the coastal resort towns to which Tom so desperately wants to belong. Watching it, I found myself wanting what Tom wanted, to be a part of that world, for it to come to me with ease.
It is only because I felt like I’ve seen this story so many times in other manners that I felt my attention wandering a little.