After the badly burned Hungarian patient Count Laszlo de Almasy (Ralph Fiennes) is pulled from the wreckage of a plane, he is taken to a military hospital with no memory of his past. During the journey through Italy, his Canadian nurse Hanna (Juliette Binoche) insists on staying behind in a monastery to prevent further injury and discomfort to her patient. While secluded in the countryside a different world with new meaning unfolds for both of them. The Count flashes back to recall his life as an archeologist on a map making expedition, where he meets and falls in love with a married English woman, Katherine (Kristin Scott Thomas). During his stay, he slowly regains the memories of their life together.
Meanwhile, Hanna who has lost a lover and a best friend in the war, meets Kip (Naveen Andrews), a Sikh bomb disposal expert, and she becomes romantically involved.
Anthony Minghella, director of The English Patient, remarkably brings cultural diversity, compassion, and emotion all together in this film. The cinematography captured by John Seale shows not only the beauty of the desert and its unknown secrets, but also the coldness of the villages during the war. After viewing this film, it leaves no doubt to why this film won nine Academy Awards and Best Film in 1996.