1. It's almost 3 hours long. And while I don't feel like there are any completely extraneous scenes, Willem Dafoe's subplot doesn't really need to be in the film. At least he's less creepy than usual in this movie.
2. For the first half I care about Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas' story. In the second half I care about Juliette Binoche and Naveen Andrews' story.
3. Props to Ralph for bringing some charm from behind his burn victim make-up. Seriously. I've never seen him so charming. This is most likely because I associate this Fiennes brother with being either an evil Nazi, an unloving Duke, or Lord Voldemort. Also, he's not half-bad when he's healthy and loosens up with Katharine.
Still socially awkward in this film, but I'll take this Joseph Fiennes over my other options any day.
4. NAVEEN ANDREWS IS IN THIS MOVIE. This was obviously a highlight for me. Basically, he's Sayid, but Indian and in the 1940s. He's some sort of bomb specialist for the British. But the real highlight comes when you see him sans turban:
Who knew Mr. Andrews was capable of even more luscious manlocks than he currently sports on Lost? Lovely. (screen shot via)
5. But really the best is Juliette Binoche. I'm not sure having the framing device be more interesting than the meaty story of the English patient was a success, but I'll go with it. Ms. Binoche is so full of life after the over-the-top beginning sequence (everyone she loves dies. Maybe she should build a shrine). I enjoyed spending time with this character and was loathe to leave her for flashbacks.