The Talented Mr. Ripley ★★★★½

Double meanings of a double life: an ingenious con-artist thriller that's also about the desperate loneliness of playing rich and straight, respectively. Does Matt Damon do his best work as men faking their way to high society? It's a theme that resonates at least superficially with his movie-star backstory as an ordinary dude from Bahstan, and which finds its own double in The Departed, another con artist story of sorts, featuring a (possibly closeted) character self-actualizing up the ladder through deception. This movie features what may be the single greatest beat of Damon's career, that moment when Ripley has the cops in his home and Marge outside and you see him visibly making the decision to just drop the ruse, relief flooding his features, until he commits again and prolongs the agony of his sociopathic masquerade. The ending is wrenching, but that moment? It's everything this movie is saying about the hell of pretending to be someone else to fit in. A magnificent film that gets better every time I watch it.