Pure and unfiltered Oscar bait. If you ever had to teach a class about Hollywood schmaltz, The English Patient would no doubt be a perfect subject. It's sentimental to the bone, it feels manipulative and dishonest and it drags in the hope that a longer runtime means a bigger impact.
The plot revolves around a soldier who crashes his plane and ends up in a hospital, unable to remember his identity. The nurse that takes care of him is interested in his case and slowly the patient starts to piece together the history that landed him in the hospital. It's a familiar setup and one that could offer the necessary intrigue, but director Minghella fails to deliver.
It's hard to pick the film's worst characteristic, but it's either the score or the performances. The music is hellish and utter kitsch, performances are wooden and clumsy. The cinematography isn't much to look at either and the romance is a dud. All of that makes that the sluggish pacing is the final nail in the coffin.