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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Are you seriously kidding me? This movie got Oscar nominated for what? After
watching this I thought someone was pulling my leg. Lets start off with some
facts. This is a civil war movie filmed in Europe. Totally inexcusable. The
location was enough to make this movie doomed. But no instead we get a LONG
drawn out movie where Jude Law "Inman" dies at the end after watching him
live through every sort of situation imaginable he gets into a talking duel
with Cold Mountains "Billy the Kid" and slowly dies. Come on! How cliche is
this? Not only was the end of the movie pathetic it was anti climatic. What
a waste of an opportunity. You had all the makings of a good movie and all
the necessary characters early on, instead the script calls to kill everyone
off slowly throughout the movie. The art of good script writing is dead. To
many movies like this. Yes war is bad and people die, why not show us the
smart ones who live through it and how they did it.
Now lets not get me wrong Jude Law does a good job trying to be southern but I can't get over he is from England! The producer of this movie needs his head examined filming a Civil War movie in Europe with an English lead actor. Nichole Kidman does a good job but she just remains way to clean compared to the supporting cast and it stands out, she looks out of place even when they try to "dirty" her. Things like this and the completely depressing pathetic ending not to mention the overly long movie run time make this just not a very good film.
Movies with bad endings are always easy to spot. They never get much public support. The reason is simple people DO NOT like to be depressed. That is why I was so hesitant about Cold Mountain. I kept hearing Oscar Nomination but no big push by the public for it. Some things never change. Maybe one day these producers and directors will learn that people really do enjoy good, smart movies about redemption, hope and happiness. Not sappy tragedies. There is a reason Shakespeare is only brought up in literature class and Cold Mountain was named "Cold Mountain". Sometimes its obvious, what a waste of time.
I just saw the DVD and loved it. In particular, I thought the director and Jude and Nicole did an amazing job with the kiss between Inman and Ada just before Inman left. It was the most romantic kiss I've ever seen in a film. I thought it was crucial for setting the tone for the rest of the movie; it managed to make it believable that Inman and Ada would walk/wait, respectively, for each other for all that time without ever really having had a relationship. I thought the film managed this crucial plot point much better than the book itself. I'm sure many of you will be quick to name other film kisses which best this one, but this one is it for me! Jude and Nicole had showed incredible chemistry in the far too few scenes they had together.
Overlong, over predictable, the only saving grace, it is not over acted. Renee Zellweger is the spark that manages to prevent the film meeting an icy end. How this has ended up on the Oscar rumour mill is beyond comprehension.
I had such high expectations for this film, but I guess you should never expect anything from something you have no idea about or weren't a part of. This movie was one of the biggest wastes of time I've ever had to sit through. The storyline was very boring and was always dragging along. It's a shame that so many movies are being put together just because of a few good actors, and a somewhat "interesting" surrounding. As I said before, this movie was a total dissapointment.
Minghella's Cold Mountain is a long one - over two and one half hours -
and it delivers on all cylinders. It's a love story cast in the classic
'epic love story' mold.
The acting cast are impeccable and impressive: Kidman, Law, Zellwegger, Hoffman, Gammon, Gleeson, Ribisi, Sutherland, Winstone, Baker, Portman - and an assortment of mostly English to round things out.
That gives reason to pause: this is a movie about the US civil war with a mostly non-US cast and filmed in Romania. That's reason to pause and ponder.
It's an intriguing tale, very bloody at times, and it's not hard to see where it's going, but its obviousness does not deter. It has its requisite 'stacked deck' and it's not hard to see where the final comeuppance there is going to be either.
But in movies such as this such comeuppance is not without its price. This might be a love story, but it's also a tragic love story, and so even the scenes the audience long for must be tainted with sorrow.
Alison Krauss sings a couple of tunes for the soundtrack, one of which is composed by G Sumner.
Kidman is hardly my favourite actress or personality yet she shines here. Although she doesn't have all the classic features, Seale knew how to grasp what she has. If anyone stands out above their colleagues it is Renee who deservedly won an Oscar for her performance. But they're all good. And Law is an excellent counterpoint. And there are so many good anti-war quips in this bloody drama it's not funny.
Watch for a punk rocker singing hillbilly tunes.
Well made and infinitely more sympathetic than The English Patient from which it seems to derive theme and substance, but is it a keeper? Something to have on the DVD shelf?
That's another question entirely. You might appreciate it and enjoy it but it's likely you won't want to buy it.
*** 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.
... it spans across 2½ hours, stars a wide-ranging montage of Hollywood
stars, features unspeakably picturesque shots, evokes dramatic
comparisons of 'Gone with the Wind Redux' and, more than anything,
scored over seven Oscar nods with the Academy. 'Cold Mountain' boasts
of all of the aforementioned accolades, although it is not usually
hailed by critics or fans, possibly because this swelly dramatic Civial
War set-up means treading down a road we've all been down before.
Although there is perhaps not much novelty in Anthony Minghella's long epic, the end result is much better than it ought to be. Two things I feel compelled to put forth about this film: 1, how curiously low my expectations were seeing the underwhelming preview and a less-than-favourite cast of mine only to be completely floored by a fantastic film and 2) how it is perhaps the only film I felt an urge to rewind and rewatch immediately after the end credits had started rolling. Now, I have many favourite films, but none have evoked this particular desire and as the cynic I am, I never thought I'd experience an overwhelming thing like that. This speaks volumes for me.
The very core of 'Cold Mountain' is how absence makes the heart grow fonder. We see how awkward fleeting moments between the quiet, reserved Inman (Jude Law) and the rich preacher's daughter Ada (Nicole Kidman) turn into something quite profound and layered when the former is called to fight against the yankees in the Civil War. Through narrative letters, Ada communicates her longing and love for the soldier who finally decides to desert and head home to Cold Mountain to see her, not really knowing her but being swept away in the idea of his lover. While Inman embarks on a Homeric odyssey of varying degrees of humanity and desperation, Ada is at a loss as how to run a farm at home.
You will be pressed to find a film that more strongly illustrates the dehumanizing effects of war on individuals and communities, even though it is a popular theme in movies. The difference between 'Cold Mountain' and heavy classics such as 'The Deep Hunter', 'Apocalypse Now' and more is that here we find a sweet core of love, and the story is infinitely brighter because of it. The screen is awash with dramatic lushly green hills, rivers, mountains and picturesque cottages and cabin logs filtered through almost unspeakably beautiful cinematography that fleets across the world with apt tracking shots. The costumework is equally impressive, capturing the bruised grace of the era as well as the gritty tragedies of war.
As far as cast is concerned, I was skeptic to see Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Nicole Kidman in the same picture and expected polarised under- and over-acting. I was mostly wrong, for Nicole Kidman gives the best performance in her career as Ada Monroe with pure raw, intense emotional transparency. Jude Law, by contrast, is horribly wooden and botches through emotional scenes. Natalie Portman is not in the film for long, so there is no harm done. Every remaining actor is thankfully heartwrenching and apt in their respective roles, including a bold Renee Zellwegger as the unsinkakle hands-on-hips labourer who comes to help Ada with her decaying farm. She rightfully won an Academy Award for her performance.
'Cold Mountain' is a perfect narrative with a brilliantly and patiently unfolding story, as is Minghella's style. Its only flaw, as I see it, is its inherently Oscar-baiting nature. But then again, it's a Hollywood epic about the civil war so it is presumably difficult not to fall into this trap. All I know is that it is so intense and touching that it fully trumps any film I have seen for the past months.
9 out of 10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is my first comment on an IMDb page. Interesting idea. I suppose
it is possible to be a "spoiler" for a three yr old film, so be warned.
In fact I won't rent or see a film without knowing beforehand if the
plot and acting are plausible. There is nothing particularly surprising
or startling about film plot twits because most of them are taken from
previous works or are a contrivance that contradicts logic. My purpose
in reading literature and viewing movies is to see if authors and
directors can extract accurate lessons from reality or history and
apply them in a rational yet artistic ways as a means of teaching life
lessons, reflecting in some believable way the ironies of fate.
Mr. Minghella and his Editor cut this film up quite badly and left a lot of speculation hanging in mid air. Yes I'm going to have to read the novel to find what the author intended.
The scene of the attack by Teague and Home Guard on the Swangers left me baffled. What all these location people, dialecticians, stunt men, historians and advisers don't know about North Carolinians could fill another book. Perhaps it is unwise to contradict a determined director when he has a specific story in mind.
Five known enemies on horseback do not openly approach a mountain home occupied by three men (southern boys are men at 12yrs in that time), all armed and probably very well armed with "souvenir" battlefield pickups of the period. They boys would have brought home their muskets at the very least. Teague's marauders would have had to attack by stealth at night to gain sway over the Swanger household and even they they would have lost one or two men. An open approach in daylight would have ended their careers as "guardsmen", with perhaps one or two wounded and soon dispatched. That entire scene is nonsensical in the way it played out and spoiled the movie for me from that point on. Imagine four guns hidden and barricaded against five in the open. Wow! What a short film that was.
The final denouement at Cold Mountain with the death of Inman was equally disappointing. This is a silly ending that says Inman learned nothing with all his battle experience and in fact forgot the lessons learned in dealing with Teague a few moments before. In fact this is exactly the kind of false moral that ideologues frequently inject into fiction, making it non-believable. When you chase down a man on horseback you need not catch up right away, especially tracking in snow. Let him tire out a while. Firstly you pick up Teague's repeating Spencer rifle, not a revolver with only one or two shots left. Then get into a position to shoot the horse out from under the fleeing murderer. Then wound him from long range repeatedly. Then leave him to freeze. Nature is your ally in this case. Mingella's notion that you negotiate with a ruthless torturer and try to convince him to go home peacefully after committing mass murder is plainly idiotic. This story should have had a happy ending with good triumphant over evil.
In fact it is standard repetitive nauseating practice for screen writers to engage in amateur psychological (crackpot Freudian) speculation that war ruins men and violence even in the name of freedom and decency is inherently evil. Experience and history teaches us differently yet the beat goes on.
I think a masterful film with much more authentic sensibilities could have been made from this material. Imagine having to construct a town in Romania. What was that about? There are no unspoiled wilderness scenes in the south? I lived for several years in Kentucky and Tennessee. Georgia and Alabama as well. I have hunted and hiked over the Smokies and traveled across both states extensively. There are hundreds of thousands of unspoiled acres of land and many very authentic ancient villages, cabins and farms scattered all over the South. Civil War reenactors abound all over the South. Men who would gladly volunteer to help make an authentic film.
Many of these kinds of logistical location decisions, such as travel to Romania to "rent the army", are made as much for travel and vacation opportunities and social opportunities as much as budget considerations.
Well, that's all I have to say about this until I read the original novel and find out what the author really had in mind.
Yikes this movie was a bunch of boring treacle - kinda like cookie
cutter formula for pulling on the heartstrings of women...only it
didn't work in my case...I was bored stiff by the plot, and as for the
winning performance of Rene Zellwegger...I have no idea why she nabbed
it for this role?!
Ohmigod and how long and overdrawn were the constant battles and fights. It's hilarious to watch the suitor get blown up a gazillion times just to make it back to the 'true love', who is someone he only knew from trays of punch. C'mon, puhleez! I was glad to have waited for DVD so I could condense the movie into a half hour of yawns
minghella has hit a home run, along with shyamala all his films are
they are expensively mounted star studded affairs but they are all still bad. how could this get nominated for Oscars the script is dire, the acting by jude law and nicole kidman is even worse, only rene zellwegger, brendan gleason and jack white are watchable. its direction is turgid, every frame saying look at what an important film this is, which of course it is not. crap philosophying, and cod psychology. there has always been a tradition of ponderous, boring filmmakers, george stevens and otto preminger come to mind, new names to this tradition of self important and "grand" directors include sam mendes, bertolucci, and quite a few other British and europeans. its amazing how critics get fooled by the names and really do not see whats on screen..avoid at all costs
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