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I went to see this film last week and was very let down. Aside from the landscapes and a decent performance by Jude Law this film is pure sap! This is a film filled with every ingredient to win over the Oscar voters. This film is a predictable cliche' from start to finish. I don't really mind Nicole Kidman but she does not deserve any nominations for this performance, nor does any one else in the cast. I could not believe how sappy the story was, not a shred of originality even the photography was mediocre. Go see it if you like over the top mush and typical Hollywood tripe!
The decision to tell this story in flashbacks for much of its beginning
does not work to it's advantage as a film. Since I have not read the
book, I am not sure how the author structured it to begin with. But
flashbacks are always tricky to work with, it has to be done in the
right way. Patricularly in films you have to set up the story and
characters before you begin throwing flashbacks at the audience.
That's my major complaint about "Cold Mountian". We get thrown into a love story without first knowing the people it involves, so why should we care? There are some good scenes scattered here and there, and it's a beautiful film to watch; wonderful landscapes, detailed, pretty clothes and attractive people. And the war is portrayed in a respectful manner I guess. Yet, I cannot feel anything for the main characters. It's not that I'm not moved by some scenes, but it's never about their love, it's more about the circumstances of war, and the more interesting character of Ruby.
It moves way to quickly, especially in the beginning, for the mood and the care to set in. It feels like a whole 30 minutes or more is missing from the setup. I'm sure the story works better in the book, but it does not hold together as a film. It gets boring as soon as it stops portraying war and goes for the main love story. Might have been better as a mini series.
In short: A love story seldom works if you don't care about the lovers. And "Cold Mountian" does not give their lovers a chance.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is one of those that was built up just a little too much.
Don't get me wrong, I did like it - but it was 2 and a half hours and
some of it just didn't seem to flow as well as I thought it would.
The whole thing was touching and lovely, if a slight boring. To me other films that I have enjoyed (I won't list since this is about Cold Mountain, nothing else) which involved the characters falling in love and beating the odds have found two actors who have a lot of on-screen chemistry. So much that you just want to leap off of your chair and grab them and bang their heads together and you even get butterflies of frustration when things don't go that way.
But, Jude Law (Inman) and Nicole Kidman (Ada) just didn't give me that feeling. They're characters were too rushed it seemed and when 'that' kiss happened it was too predictable and too cheesy for a film with such a bitter under taste of death and depression.
The film picked up, though, I thought when Renée Zellweger was introduced as the charming Ruby Thewes. Her character had a lot of depth but you weren't bored to tears by her past but instead were intrigued into why she was the way she seemed but at the same time you just enjoyed her on-screen time. And also when Phillip Seymour Hoffman took up the role as the priest with his roving eye and the love for that saw I had to admit, I thought the film was getting good.
Natalie Portman, Ray Winstone, Emily Deschanel, Kathy Backer and Brendan Gleeson all took up the other roles in the film, however short, and in their own ways added some sort of attributes to it. In my opinion if it had just been a love saga without other characters we could look at, I would have been bored to tears (And I actually like those kinds of films.) And though the film was supposed to be focused on Nicole Kidman and Jude Law's characters love, I'm afraid to say that all my attention was on Renée Zellwegers characters development with Georgia and how their relationship would work. Screen chemistry is a must for me and if I can't see any then it's not worth the £15.99 I paid for it.
There were good bits in this film though, some acting (Not Jude Law's best attempt, though it has to be said he didn't have many lines), the scenery, the battle sequences and the fact we went back and forth for a while which kept my attention. What didn't keep my attention was the fact they could have told the story in 2 hours instead of boring me with other sequences that didn't need to be there.
The ending was predictable although it was raved about being "very shocking and unexpected." I felt sorry, almost, for Jude Law. He had around a page worth of lines and didn't even get a hero's ending as the poor bugger went and died. Quiet pathetically in my opinion, please don't let him die in other films. (He just can't act) I'd give it a 7/10 - and thats because I loved the Ruby character.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of the astounding things about "Cold Mountain" is How Nicole Kidman
and Renee Zellwegger's characters manage to keep their eyebrows in such
good shape. Through famine and war, these two women maintain the most
finely drawn eyebrows in movie history.
It says a lot that I was able to notice Kidman's and Zellwegger's eyebrows with all the tragedy, action and pathos being chucked at me. To be honest, most of it washed over me, leaving me to ponder such questions as "Why does Jack White sound like a whiny brat on his albums when he sings very well in this movie?" and "Did the producers of 'My Name is Earl' cast Ethan Suplee because of his role in this film?"
Anthony Minghella has written and directed a hybrid of the classic Hollywood epic and the classic anti-war movie. In my mind, this fails to work because there is so little hope expressed. Inman's journey from Petersburg to his home at Cold Mountain is almost entirely depressing. He has to slog through pretty much every extreme of human cruelty on his way back to Ada, who is hardly having the time of her life at home. The film's only tiny victory is that Ada ends up with a loyal band of friends and family at the end. It's that perfect, trite, white middle-class ending, perched on the peak of a Golgotha of suffering, that made me give this film such a low score.
This movie would have been so much worse with a less talented cast. However, it could have been so much better with a more original script.
Adapted from the Charles Frazier novel, and a poignant study of love
prevailing over distance, time, and war, Cold Mountain (2003 Miramax
Films) tears a romance asunder by means of the Civil War.
Reverend Monroe (Donald Sutherland) and his beautiful and loving daughter Ada (Nicole Kidman) move from Charlotte to the community of Cold Mountain, North Carolina just before the War Between the States. Ada subsequently meets and falls in love with Inman (Jude Law), a local laborer and soon-to-be Confederate soldier. Inman is sent to the front lines as his relationship with Ada is only beginning, and, soon after their relocation, Reverend Monroe passes away, leaving Ada to care for herself. Much to the dismay of her neighbors, Ada is unable to take care of both herself and the Monroe's property. When it seems as if the situation could not worsen, Ruby Thewes (Renée Zellweger) arrives and restores the Monroe estate and Ada. Inman meanwhile escapes from a military hospital, deserting his country and its cause, to return to Ada, to whom he has been writing and from whom he has been receiving letters. The movie relates Inman's journey home and also chronicles the difficulties that both Ada and Cold Mountain experience in the absence of all of its able-bodied men.
Virtually every aspect of Cold Mountain is effective in contributing to the movie's success as a whole. Casting is excellent. Each actor fits his or her role quite well there are very few times in the movie that the audience is reminded that this is a production by professional storytellers. Scenery is unquestionably one of Cold Mountain's fortes; sweeping panoramic shots of picturesque landscapes characterize the movie's cinematographic establishment of setting. Along the same lines, the movie's setting (both time and location) compliments the central theme of romance exceptionally. Cold Mountain's use of Civil War-era Appalachia for a backdrop plays on the nostalgia of the audience perfectly. The tempo of the movie is another of its strengths. At no point is the viewer bored constant plot twists abound and new characters appear often, yet the observer commands a comprehensive understanding of the tale at all times. To top it off, Cold Mountain successfully utilizes an oft-ignored component of cinema: music. The musical score does its job modestly, enhancing the different elements of the film, but it rises to the task when called upon.
First-rate casting, outstanding cinematic work, and a plot that is both captivating and moving provide for an extraordinary movie. Cold Mountain relates a saga of romance and undying love while exploiting the historic sentiments of its viewers.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
''Cold Mountain'' is a very dramatic movie, that goes through the days
of the American Civil War. With a cast full of celebrities like Jude
Law,Nicole Kidman,Renée Zellweger,Philip Seymour Hoffman,Natalie
Portman among others, this film was adapted, because it is a novel by
Charles Frazier. A nice thing I discovered, was that this movie was
mostly filmed in Romania! ( Count Dracula's land)
Inman is a Confederate soldier thatis in love with Ada. But Inman needs to go to a war, and Ada, a city girl who moved to a farm recently, will wait for him. Ada needs the help of Ruby, a country girl, to make the farm function. Showing many difficulties of the war and the pain of many characters, I think this is a very depressing movie,specially because W. P. Inman really existed.
Come on folks, give me a break. This movie is about as interesting as
watching a nose bleed. Minghella fails miserably. Why can't we use
American actors for a subject matter only a true American can fully
understand and connect with. Like Mel Gibson in "We Were Soldiers",
Nicole Kidman and Jude Law not credible. Additionally if I had to watch
Rene Zellwegger overact with that rediculously contrived character for
one more scene I thought I'd puke! Everyone constantly trying to out
act each other in every scene (absent Jude Law). There were also way too
many big name cameos and well known faces; it became so distracting.
Probably the best way to get Saddaam Hussein to begin confessing would
be to tie him up and force him to watch this movie over and over again.
Oh, addtionally it was so obvious that the movie was not filmed in the
U.S.. Next to Glory and Gone With the Wind, will anyone ever make a
truly great Civil War film? Oscar?
I went into this film thinking I wasn't going to like it, but hoping to
surprised, but this, much like the film, ended up being bleak and
But don't get me wrong, Minghella delivers every bit of a grand epic and
those who enjoy that kind of experience and are willing to take that
adventure and accept what comes as just that, then they will not be
disappointed and it will be one of the better films of the year in their
opinion. The acting is of a high quality and will most likely come away
with a trinity of oscar noms for Law, Kidman and Zellweger, even though
Portman's few scenes may be the most powerful in the film. The locations
are beautiful and Minghella has an eye for a good shot.
However, for those like me who want the director to take them on the adventure instead of going willingly may come away disappointed mainly due to Minghella and his adaptation. The film is so utterly bleak it makes for what I consider to be a punching bag epic which is a film that that tries to hit hard with emotion but does so to such an extreme and so often that during the film I didn't have the time to emotionally invest, or hadn't recovered from a previous blow, and it became unrealistic and consequently too difficult to really care, not to mention predictable. Overall the "Cold Mountain" almost left me too drained to even think back on the good aspects of the film, as all I remember is death, which may have been an original motif but ends up being the focus instead of the characters.
When the historical context of a film that is based in a setting as well
documented and relevant as the American Civil War is so completely falsified
as is contrived in this film there is only one thing to do: turn off the
brain and try to enjoy the movie on its entertainment merits alone.
Unfortunately, this film is so depressing there is no entertainment value.
In a word, Blech!
Even illiterates involved in the Civil War had clearly understood at least the basic reasons they were fighting. Both sides had concrete and heart-felt convictions to the last man. There is no excuse for painting it as a Vietnam style political fiasco-- even allowing that over simplistic view of Vietnam-- other than outright ignorance or a desire to revise public perception of what really happened. Read a book, people!
Hollywood's obsession with antichristian themes is annoyingly prevailant these days, but here we have a blatant case of malicious slander against anything related to church, even though the moral influences of christians in general played an enormous role in America's growth and stability, and particularly in Abe Lincoln's resolve to follow moral issues rather than political ones in fighting the Civil War, to the ongoing benefit of African-Americans and the United States overall. Contrary to Hollywood idiocy, men of the cloth are not and have not been the scum of the earth as a matter of habit(present Catholic controversies notwithstanding).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Minghella's Cold Mountain is a love story gone wrong. The story was
mostly accurate depicting of the impact of the Civil war on the
Southerners. The story was written by Charles Frazier- whose great
great grandfather, W.P. Inman, fought for the Confederacy during the
Civil War. During the war, Inman was wounded and brought to a hospital.
After he healed, he escaped the prison hospital in Virginia in hopes to
return home to Cold Mountain, North Carolina, to reunite with his love.
Frazier did not know all the details about his grandfather's journey,
but through research, he wrote what he believed Inman's journey would
entail as he traveled home. Prior to the war, Ada, one of the main
character, has recently moved to Cold Mountain with her father. She
doesn't have any friends besides her father, but she briefly meets
Inman and they fall in love. However, shortly after Ada's arrival, many
men including Inman are overcome with nationalism and join to fight the
Ada and her father continue to live on the farm until the father dies unexpectedly. Ada now owns his property and the farm; she frees all of her father's slaves but now is struggling to keep the farm alive. Eventually, a neighbor named Ruby comes along to help her with the farm. Ada learns new skills and the farm begins to thrive again. Ada continues to stay loyal to Inman and writes him several letters. However, as the war drags, the more Ada questions their love- after all they had only known each other for a short period of time. She prays for his survival and tries to predict the future by looking in a water well. With the help of two neighbors, she leans back with a mirror to see the water reflection in the mirror. She briefly sees a man coming closer as crows surround him and he falls to the ground. Confused about the message, Ada is unsure if the message means Inman is returning to her
Meanwhile, Inman is traveling back home. Throughout his journey, he meets a variety of different people and encounters many challenges. He scavenges food and in some households he is invited for an overnight stay. At one stop in particular he meets a young woman named Sara. She became a widow when her husband joined the war and she is currently raising her young baby alone on a small farm. She lets Inman stay for the night but the presences of a man reminds of her husband and she begins to sob. Without a husband or father, Sara and her baby's life will be impacted forever. The morning after, soldiers come to her farm asking for a runaway soldier (Inman). She declines any knowledge but they search her house and torment her and her baby until Inman appears and kills the soldiers. On several occasions during his trip, Inman meets people that will delay or hurry his voyage; very similar to the epic, The Odyssey. In The Odyssey, Odysseus went far to fight in war which lasted longer than expected. He wants to return home to his wife and let her know he's alive but is faced with many challenges. Odysseus encounters a Cyclops, sea monsters and much more. Inman's story is very similar. Inman is returning home from war to reunite with his love, but his journey was not easy and very time consuming. Some people provided him with supplies, others tagged along on for the trip and others make the journey more difficult.
Overall, I think that the attitude about the war is supported well by the variety of people Inman comes across. Each has their own perspective about tolls war brings and each person has a story. Like the hermit goat lady in the forest. She is very kind to Inman without knowing who he is. She heals Inman and sends him on his way with supplies. Although the war changed people, it showed there is still kindness which has been lacking for some time. The movie demonstrates the impacts of the war, not always thought about. More than slave owners were impacted by the war- families lost their males and towns were reduced to mostly women and young children.
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