Directed by Anthony Minghella
Starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellwegger, Brendan
Running Time: 155 minutes
Inman (Law), a North Carolina laborer falls deeply for
a southern belle named Ada (Kidman) shortly before the Civil
War. Once the war begins and North Carolina becomes involved,
Inman leaves the comforts of Cold Mountain and fights for
the confederates, all the while yearning for a time when
he can return home to start a new life with Ada. A gunshot
wound almost destroys his chances, so before being sent
to battle again, he takes his chances as a deserter and
heads back to the hills.
The movie starts with a rumble, at the Battle of Petersburg.
The yankees set off a large explosion, creating a vast crater,
and then they charge, only to get stuck in the crater they
created. A blood bath ensues, in some of the more powerful
war scenes ever to be seen, reminiscent of the bloody opening
to Saving Private Ryan.
If only the rest of the film had followed suit. Cold Mountain
has some problems along the way. It suffers from too many
characters, too large of a script, too many big named actors,
and not enough swift narrative.
First, I feel the film would have been much better without
Miss Nicole Kidman. Her accent was horrible, her appearance
was too fragile, and her dialog seemed forced. She stuck
out as something that really didn't belong in the Civil
War south. Jude Law and Renee Zellwegger saved the film.
Law plays a quiet, war-weary Civil War soldier, who cares
nothing but for the one he loves, and will stop at nothing
in order to get to her, and finally to protect her.
Zellwegger, who plays a homegrown, ill-mannered, independent
Southern woman practically steals the film and provides
some much needed humor during some dour parts of the film.
Most importantly, she does what a supporting character should
do, and that is develop the lead. Kidman's character becomes
stronger, simply because she is playing opposite Zellwegger.
Although the narrative seems to falter at times, the climax
is exceptionally done. The winter scenes in the North Carolina
mountains alone make this film worthwhile.
The film's ending is also strong, like the beginning, and
Minghella does a great job of not drawing out the ending,
nor trying to throw in any extra sentimentality. The film
seems to end at just the right time, which is very uncommon
these days when it comes to large epic films.