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Bach Movies



Truly Madly Deeply








Film: May 1991 (USA)
DVD: Dec 2001
VHS: Apr 2004


Anthony Minghella


Anthony Minghella


Juliet Stevenson (Nina); Jenny Howe (Burge); Carolyn Choa (Translator); Bill Paterson (Sandy); Christopher Rozycki (Titus); Keith Bartlett (Plumber); David Ryall (George); Stella Maris (Maura); Ian Hawkes (Harry); Deborah Findlay (Claire); Alan Rickman (Jamie); Vania Vilers (Frenchman); Arturo Venegas (Roberto); Richard Syms (Symonds); Michael Maloney (Mark)


Once upon a time there were two people in love, their names were Nina and Jamie. They were even happy enough to be able to live happily ever after, (not often the case) and then Jamie died. Nina is left with a house full of rats and handymen, a job teaching foreigners English and an ache that fills the night sky. (Anonymous)

Nina is totally heartbroken at the death of her boyfriend Jamie, but is even more unprepared for his return as a ghost. At first it's almost as good as it used to be - hey, even the rats that infested her house have disappeared. But Jamie starts bringing ghostly friends home and behaving more and more oddly. (Rhino)

The thinking person's "Ghost": Pianist Nina (Juliet Stevenson) and cellist Jamie (Alan Rickman) played together and loved together. When they weren't making music with each other, they made love. It was an idyllic romantic and musical partnership, and when Jamie dies, Nina takes it very hard. The condolences of friends and relatives don't help much when everything in the apartment they shared reminds her of him. She's a real basket case, and can barely get on with her life. One day, while plunking dejectedly on the piano, Nina looks up to discover Jamie, in ghostly form, lively as ever and just as loving. With a few new wrinkles (such as parties which include Jamie's newfound ghost friends), they resume living their relationship almost as before. Nina's friends are puzzled at her change from suicidal despondency to giddy cheefulness, but Jamie has pledged Nina to secrecy about their renewed relationship. For that reason, she cannot find any good excuses for not responding to the romantic advances of a living man, Mark (Michael Maloney). Before long, she will have to choose between the two of them (

Truly Madly Deeply is an intelligent, moving, and deeply funny story about love and death. Nina (Juliet Stevenson), a scatterbrained professional translator, has lost the love of her life, Jamie (Die Hard's Alan Rickman). As her life (and her flat) slowly falls to pieces, she's inundated by an endless stream of repair men and eligible suitors. But rather than go on with life, Nina dwells on her dead love, slumped at her piano, endlessly playing half of a Bach duet. Then, in a truly magical sequence, his cello suddenly joins her melody ... and Jamie's back from the dead.
At first it's bliss. (Think of the superficially similar blockbuster Ghost--only with real people instead of pretty faces Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze.) But Nina gradually realizes it's a thoroughly real Jamie who's back, complete with every annoying, argumentative fault she'd conveniently forgotten. (He might be dead, he explains, but he still attends political meetings.) Moreover, he has to hide whenever any of the living are around. And he's constantly ice-cold. And he invites his dead pals to her place at all hours. What's a living woman to do?
Director Anthony Minghella went on to create the melodramatic period piece The English Patient--but in this film, he shows a far more sensitive, subtle touch. The photography is brilliant, capturing the simple beauties of suburban London. And the wonderfully acted characters, quirky and all too real, will keep you laughing--and always guessing what will happen next. (Grant Balfour,

A lovely, original comedy about a young woman, named Nina (Juliet Stevenson), who is obsessed with the memory of her dead lover. The writer and director, Anthony Minghella, establishes an unusual, delicately varied mood, and the film moves gracefully from a realistic mode into a fantastic one. One night, Nina's lover, Jamie (Alan Rickman), reappears in her flat, and his presence seems perfectly natural to us: he has emerged from a setting that is already charged with the heroine's feelings for him. Once he's back, she has to confront, in the most concrete way, what it would really mean to live the rest of her life with a dead guy as her significant other: the movie is less a ghost story than a weird kind of domestic comedy. Minghella draws us into a fresh and startlingly humane vision of modern urban life; the details of the heroine's way of living always seem to point beyond themselves, and there's an emotional unity to everything we see. Minghella writes dialogue that sounds casual but somehow takes us straight to the heart of his work's larger concerns, and he directs the actors beautifully. Rickman is unexpectedly romantic here, and very funny besides. And Stevenson gives a radiant performance: she doesn't have a false moment, or a boring one, in the whole picture. Cinematography by Remi AdefarASIN. (Terrence Rafferty, Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker)




106 min / 103 min (DVD) / 107 min (DVD, VHS)

J.S. Bach's Music:

Adagio (Mvt. 2) from Sonata for viola da gamba & keyboard No. 3 in G minor, BWV 1029
Allegro (Mvt. 1) from Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048
Andante (Mvt. 2) from Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 7 in G minor, BWV 1058
Arranged by Barrington Pheloung


Film: Color
DVD: (Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC, Region 1) | (PAL, Region 2)
VHS: (Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC) | (PAL) | (PAL, German)


Film: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Lionheart, Winston
DVD: MGM (Video & DVD); MCP
VHS: Touchstone / Disney


Watch selections:

Buy movie at:

DVD: | [Region 2] | [Region 2]
VHS: | [PAL] | [PAL, German]

Source/Links: IMDB
Contributor: Aryeh Oron (November 2007)

Bach Movies: Bach's Life & Documentaries: Index by Title | Index by Year
Filmed Performances: Index by Work | Index by Main Performer
Bach's Music in Soundtracks: Index by Title | Index by Year
General: Index by Number | Discussions of Movies on Bach


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Last update: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 09:57