This was a terrific movie. It was dramatic, exciting, and at times, even funny (Rene Zellwegger). I guess movies of this time of year, around the oscar season, are all a little bit of everything. This one comes disguised as a romance, but more of a drama than anything else. Yes, there are two stories going on at once. That seems to be another common theme of films of this season. The House of Sand and Fog is two stories, 21 Grams is 3. Cold Mountain is two, and since there is a romance there, it seems to be a little wierd that the members of the couple are split up for the film. It's not half as wierd as it might seem. This is because both stories are very, very good. You'd expect that Nicole Kidman staying at home, learning to take care of her farm would be boring. It isn't. She gets Zellwegger helping her out, sparking up life every time she opens her mouth, and she also gets a band of southern hunters who terrorize them and their neighbors. Meanwhile, we got Jude Law, as Inman, trying to make his way home and being detained at stop after stop. His story reminded me of one of those journey movies like Easy Rider or The Last Detail, where each stop is a story unto itself. One of his better stops involves Natalie Portman as a young mother and a bunch of Northern troops who terrorize her. So, you see how what has the seeds of a romance actually surprises everyone by springing up into a drama with occasional action. The movie might be long, but it doesn't feel it. That's because every frame is edge of your seat compelling. Anthony Minghella knows that his English Patient was boring. Yes it was beautiful and won the best picture oscar, but the general consensus is that it was boring, and he's been trying to make it up to us ever since.
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