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What gives Anthony Minghella the right to ruin two extraordinary works
of fiction?? First, he destroyed The English Patient, which was bad
enough, but now I discover he's butchered Cold Mountain - butchered!!!
I had such a strange reaction to The English Patient. My son and I went to see it the first weekend it was released, and I was so disappointed, but told my son I felt like I needed to read the book. I drove straight to Barnes and Noble, bought it, read it, and tried to figure out what in the world the critics were talking about when they said Minghella had trusted enough in the intelligence of the movie-going public to give them a great film. That is what he most surely did not do.
I do not ordinarily read a great deal of fiction, but Cold Mountain was so highly recommended by friends that I felt compelled to read it. I did not see Cold Mountain, the movie, when it played in theaters, and it was because of what Minghella had done to The English Patient. But like a fool, I rented it today, and I'm so upset, I had to vent my frustration and, most of all, my sadness, that someone could have taken this beautiful story and crafted it into something almost as beautiful on the screen, and now they never will.
READ THE BOOK AND LET THE MOVIE ROT ON THE SHELF. I will never be taken in by a Minghella project again. I think he may be one of the worst directors working today, and I'm tired of the praise Hollywood heaps upon his head. It must be that no one in Hollywood reads anymore. This movie bears no resemblance to the book, except for the names of the characters. Minghella's ego must know no bounds, and if he didn't like the book, then why didn't he write an original screenplay and leave the book alone. Even if I hadn't read the book, I would still consider this movie one of the worst I've seen from 2003; and I've seen almost everything that's been released for viewing in the USA.
Elaine, you aren't going to like this one either.
The simple story here is Inman(Jude Law), is a soldier in the confederate army in the Civil War. After he is wounded in a brutal, and very well done battle scene, and pretty much all his fellow men are killed, Inman decides to desert, and go back home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina, to reunite with sweetheart Ada Monroe(the very beautiful Nicole Kidman). But as he makes this journey by foot, he meets all sorts of strange characters along the way. Ada herself is going through a lot of problems of her own, taking care of the farm after her father dies all by herself, until Ruby(Renee Zellweger)comes to help. Now I don't really have too many complaints about this film except for two things, which are, Nicole Kidman looks way too hot to be in the civil war era, and Renee Zellweger's character is over the top and annoying just to listen to. It's amazing to me that every person in this movie looks like they have gone through hell, everyone is as dirty as they can be, except for one person...Nicole Kidman. She looks like she is the only one who found the secret, to staying perfectly beautiful and completely clean, while everyone else looks terrible. I mean come on! I have to say this, but no wonder Inman wants to get home fast, he just found a woman who's perfect looking every single second, who doesn't want to get home to that? Nevertheless, kidman as incredibly beautiful as she obviously is, gives an excellent performance as always, I just wish they would have put at least a little dirt on her forehead, to make things a little more realistic, is that asking too much Hollywood? As for Renee Zellweger, who won for some strange reason, an Oscar for this goofy role, is just so irritating, your head will hurt from just listening to her dopey, stereotype, southern accent. Zellweger is absolutely horrible in this movie. Now putting all of that aside. Cold Mountain is a fantastic film filled with romance, adventure, action, drama, even a little comedy. The cinematography, editing, score is brilliant. Director Anthony Minghella does magnificent job of making you actually feel like you're in this era, except for the way Kidman looks of course. The supporting cast except for Zellweger are superb. Jude Law is excellent as Inman, but Natalie Portman, in a small role as a single mother with a little baby, is extremely powerful, and in my opinion, Portman should have won the Oscar instead of Zellweger. Cold Mountain for the only two problems it has, I'm still giving it a 9, because it's a great movie no matter what, I would give it a 10 if these problems didn't exist. Domestic:$95.6 Million + Foreign:$77.3 Million = Worldwide:$173 Million.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Cold Mountain is a love story set during the Civil War. Now this movie
doesn't move you to tears, it doesn't make you yearn for great romances
but it doesn't quite leave you empty either; and that is because it was
carried all the way home by one shell-shocking performance.
The story is rather trite but not so boring that you refuse to view it to the end. The character's earn your sympathy and friendship but you don't really know what you want to happen, because you are unsure of what to root for. The love story may be a great one, but the casting and the acting takes away from it. Jude Law and Nicole Kidman have absolutely no chemistry and every scene where they are supposed to make love to each other just comes across as forced and awkward. The jewel of this movie is Renee Zellweger; She steals every scene she is in and almost without effort becomes all that you are interested in, in the movie. Her accent is flawless, and her emotional breakdowns and highs are what keep you tethered to your seat.
Nicole Kidman, who is usually the star of her films, falls flat here. She plays sorority belle gone farm girl with a beau in the war, but she conveys almost no genuine emotion. Yes she looks as beautiful as ever but you cannot help but feel that should the role have gone to someone more suited to it that the part could have been great. Jude Law was okay, he looked the part but again, with Kidman as his love interest you don't really find him too believable.
All in all Zellweger really saves the film. She knocked it right out of the park and truly deserved that Oscar awarded to her. All of the small parts played out by big names (such as Natalie Portman who makes an appearance) are really cool to pick out while watching it, and watching Jude Law interact with them on his journey home is thought provoking with how true and harsh it all must have been. 6.8/10
Any war brings disasters to any nation or territory. American civil war was not an exception of these calamities, and in my opinion, this is what the director Anthony Minghella wanted to emphasize in this drama starred by young Jude Law and backed by Nicole Kidman and always efficient Renée Zellweger. The plot is about the love of a young couple, W.P. Inman (Law) and Ada Monroe, (N. Kidman). The first one had to go to the civil war where he was able to fight effectively and even saved the lives of some of his fellows. War was finished and he escaped from the hospital where he was recovering himself. At this point he had to overcome several serious difficulties in his way back home, he made it and found a situation of abuse by a group of gangs in his site. The couple finally decided to marry and start a new life, but the gangs once again frustrated this desire. The film is a good combination of suffering and love.
When I first saw the trailors for this movie, I was overjoyed. Anthony Minghella is one of my favorite directors. His English Patient has always captured my imagination and moved me deeply. The actors in this movie were some of my favorite. Jude Law and especially Nicole Kidman, whose last year's performance in The Hours shocked me with her undertone of power. And with a cast of amazing supporting actors, including the likes of Phillip Seymor Hoffman and Giovanni Rabissi. How could anyone not love this movie? Simple, it was sold to you. You were not expected to buy it or believe. It was a bad soap opera on wheels rolling into a ravine. True, this movie had its moments. But that is all it had moments of average filming that swept you away for a second. Yet, you were brought back quickly by the stereotypes of the film. The one that bothered me the most about this film was its love story. Contrived, that is all I can say. I am an avid movie fan and am usually quicker to love movies than to hate, but this rubbed me the wrong way.
The Civil War was a horror, but this movie seems to take prurient delight in blood, body parts and lots of grisly bits of gore. What makes this even more irritating is the fact that the acting is so strong, that the audience would have understood the horrors of war so much better if the director had allowed the actors to do their work. I can't blame the director for the ending, that's the author's contrivance, but that's what it is, utterly predictable, hokey and contrived. The script at best is an excuse to allow a whole bunch of fine actors do some thankless, but brilliant character work.
Many people sing arias about this monster of a movie, as they say. They told me many times it was a masterwork of pure art, as grand as The English Patient was. Well, for the start, I do not enjoy the Patient movie. Sorry. Cold Mountain was a yawning boredom almost all 3 hours. I waited for the famous Crater attack scene. It was shown. Not true, not as it was in reality. I wanted a Civil War movie and got a messed melodrama with very slow and poorly acting Nicole Kidman, very funny (the best there) Renee Z., and then, Jude Law. He was not good for his part. He was far too weak for that tremendously challenging character. So, even the parts of Donald Sutherland or Phillip Seymour Hoffman did not save this film from the abyss of boredom. Sometimes, it was OK, especially in battle or shoot-out scenes, but mostly - slow, deliberate and unnatural. There are many goofs, many historical inaccuracies for Civil War buffs' horror. Generally, it was a languid, prolonged, unnecessary dirty movie, which did not even come close an inch to masterworks like Gettysburg or alike. Sorry, it was not great.
I'm going to keep this review as short as possible as most reviews posted on this site are startlingly long and I will neither waste my time over-writing a review, or yours giving you a book to read; this movie is incredible. It is the story of a strong and powerful woman left alone by her husband living only with her children in a terrifyingly cold and isolating mountain pass with another woman, desperately awaiting the return of her husband from the war. Throughout the film she undergoes many trials and tribulations that test her faith in her husband, but the zenith of the film occurs when she is finally reunited with him and the two are finally able to express the love they've coveted for so many long months. It's these kind of movies that made me fall in love with Nicole Kidman and I will remain a fan of hers until I die. I suggest all to rent/buy this movie as soon as possible and to keep an eye out for her next film "Trespass" while your at it. It looks like a winner. http://bitly.com/o7TwhG
Kudos to Jude Law and Nicole Kidman ( and how can I not mention the
mouthy and boisterous Renée Zellweger). They were bloody brilliant in
the movie. Albeit the story moulded itself in a predictable fashion, it
was exceptionally well directed by Anthony Minghella. Love was what
bound them together (Jude and Nicole), although the moments were brief
and the talks were tacit, Nicole kept on waiting patiently for Law
while he eagerly wanted to return for her. A great love story, I'd say,
hardly possible in today's scenario. While we always want things to end
up happily, the movie ends up with a sad note. While I watched the
flick I had a premonition that something bad was going to happen
Natalie Portman's role was brief although very well portrayed as a widow. Giovanni Ribisi and Philip Seymour Hoffman performed their part very well. Renée Zellweger surely deserved an Oscar for her performance. She was brilliant and fluent with her accent. Nicole Kidman was amazing in the flick. While the whole world crumbled upon her and the wicked self proclaimed sheriff Ray Winstone kept on coming at her house asking her to give up but she wouldn't. She kept on patiently waiting for Law to come back as he had promised her. The war had separated them and that war demanded every man from the Cold Mountain to show up while the crude Ray Winstone didn't allow anyone who absconded from the war to live as he hunted them down wherever he found a runner.
Jude Law had to return for her. She had to wait for him. That is the basis of the entire story. It was a well written story by Charles Frazier with a brilliant screenplay by Anthony himself. A wonderful love story with marvellous dialogues and great acting by the actors in the flick. I would rate this movie a 7 on 10. Albeit the story went on in a predictable fashion it was brilliantly directed and well produced eventually. It managed to wet the cheeks of the viewers and that is what acting and directing is all about.
I heard lots about this movie. I rented it when it came out on DVD.
Watched it. Thought it was well shot. Well staged. Well acted. Well
directed. Heck, even the script was good.
But there was something missing.
What was it? Oh yeah, the guy got shot in the end, and his wife winds up with the good life.
We live in a day and age where the marketers are chasing social trends. Social trends in turn feed off of the marketing that affects society. One synergizes with the other. It's a chicken and egg thing. One follows the others' trend, hoping to cash in. Who's in the lead? I have no idea. But the morning news, the soap operas, the game shows, nearly everything you can think of is aimed at garnishing dollars. And "Cold Mountain" was no different.
Consider; Law goes off to fight in the war while Kidman stays home. Not a big variance in theme there, but Law's character gets challenged with the harsh brutality of Civil War, while Kidman's character, though facing her own challenges at home, isn't quite so fretted with what could happen to her so much as what could happen to her neighbors.
We see one love making scene after Law's character comes home, and then a violent confrontation. And Law get's shot. Kidman? She goes on to live a happy and fruitful life now that she's been given a child from her alleged love of choice. I don't know about you, but it seemed more like Kidman's character was waiting to be fertilized than to protect her man.
Is this worrisome? Not really. If any feminist thinks this is a good message, then they're off their rocker. Me, I found it trite. A much better film with much the same story, better production values, and just scoring higher marks in the theme and values department, is Ang Lee's "Ride With the Devil".
Lee's film tells a better story; the harsh non-mystical realities of tribal warfare, and why men and women need each other, and why they create families that need one another as well. It's a story of survival to keep the hope of romance and family alive. In short, it's a better film on all levels.
"Cold Mountain" is sophomoric pablum. It's aimed at the "Sex in the City" crowd, only designed to ride on the coat tails of other historic Civil War success stories.
And that's why I didn't take a liking to "Cold Mountain". The film should've been renamed "Cold Women", for not one man of worth survives to the end of this film. And the one man who should have, was shot in the gut, and needlessly so.
I guess you could say I don't really like this film much.
Watch it for its aesthetics, but then understand what you've seen after it's all said and done. It's an angry film for an angry segment of the sexes.
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