An “amazing gathering of film luminaries” are attending a weekend of mourning in and around London for the late director Anthony Minghella. A three-hour Catholic service was held this afternoon St. Thomas More church in Swiss Cottage, a suburb of London. Elegant and heartfelt words were spoken about Minghella by Talented Mr. Ripley costars Matt Damon and Jude Law, English Patient author Michael Ondaatje and costar Juliette Binoche, and Minghella’s producing colleague Harvey Weinstein (who also delivered a message on behalf of the ailing Sydney Pollack, who was Minghella’s producing partner).
Dominic Minghella (the director’s brother), Cold Mountain costar Renee Zellweger and Truly Madly Deeply costars Alan Rickman and Juliet Stevenson also attended. Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, the present and former Prime Minister of the UK, were there as well. Ditto widow Carolyn Minghella, daughter Hannah Minghella, an exec at Sony, and son Max Minghella, an actor.
Also attending was Richard Curtis, who recently collaborated with Minghella on the screenplay of The #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, which was partly shot in Botswana. Bishop Trevor Mwamba, an Anglican bishop from Botswana who met Minghella during the shooting of Detective, spoke at length, and cathartically. John Seale, who shot English Patient and Ripley, was there. Ditto producer Saul Zaentz, editor-producer Walter Murch (who came from Argentina, where he’s working with Francis Coppola on Tetro), and Working Title honchos Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.
There was a big Minghella dinner party last night at the Groucho Club, a ilm-industry watering hole on Dean Street in Soho. Harvey Weinstein is giving a dinner as we speak at Lucio’s restaurant.