A methodical film about one mans' descent into madness through lies, unrequited love and self-deception, The Talented Mr. Ripley is not the exciting thriller the trailers may have promised, hence my use of the word 'methodical.' Rather, it's a study of an individual driven by obsession to do despicable things completely out of character, because he literally IS out of character. Matt Damon is an enjoyable, if slightly bland, lead, and has his moment of genuine fright, but he's overshadowed by the performances of Jude Law and the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman. Law is as charismatic as he is enigmatic, and it's easy to determine what Damon sees in him: A free-spirited capriciousness, an almost boyish carelessness and a beautiful, charming fiancée. He is so compelling and was rightly Oscar nominated, and the parts with him are easily the most entertaining. Hoffman is at his sleazy best, like an oily worm who slithers his way into and out of every scene, keeping our suspicions high whenever he's on screen. It's well written and directed, structuring the film so that tensions build and stakes get constantly higher, but the pacing, especially in the latter half, and the fact that it could easily be trimmed down, make it a bit of a chore to finish. But for those willing to sit back and witness a person losing his mind, possibly without even knowing it, and to see an acting showcase for some incredible talents, The Talented Mr. Ripley delivers.