january 8, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 54  

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Love and war in Cold Mountain

Cold Mountain
Directed by: Anthony Minghella
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Renée Zellweger

By Ashley Audrain
Gazette Staff

Miramax Films 2003
SHE’LL BE COMIN’ ’ROUND THE MOUNTAIN WHEN SHE COMES. She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain, she’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain, she’ll be comin’ round the mountain... with a gun.

There’s nothing like a rough Civil War epic film to make you loathe our pretty-faced spoiled society where war is just another buzzword. Cold Mountain, based on the novel by Charles Frazier, is the true story of a young Confederate soldier’s journey through the American south back to Cold Mountain, where a woeful Ava Monroe (Kidman) awaits his return. The film follows Inman (Law) through his escape from a war he no longer believes in, while a lonely Ava struggles to survive in what remains of her war-torn home.

This film is beautifully produced and its 155 minutes are generally compelling to watch. However, the characters are undeniably frustrating: Kidman can’t shake her pristine Hollywood image, which discredits her desolate character. While Law is unquestionably talented in his role, but his chemistry with Kidman is not. The two strangers merely share a few dozen words before Inman is sent to war, while audiences are expected to believe their undying love keeps them alive.

There is an incredible supporting cast that should have seen more screen time: Zellweger plays Kidman’s farm hand and Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Inman’s eccentric temporary travel companion. Regardless, this film is worth the history lesson and sense of compassion rarely seen on the big screen.



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