DVD Reviews | Mar 4th, 2005
Starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellweger, Brendan Gleeson, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jack White, Natalie Portman, Donald Sutherland, Giovanni Ribisi
Written By: Charles Frazier (Book) Anthony Minghella (Screenplay)
Directed By: Anthony Minghella
Buy on Amazon.com
Cold Mountain is an epic drama/love story that was nominated for 7 Oscars. With an excellent cast, crew and direction, Cold Mountain is one of the top movies of 2003.
Cold Mountain, North Carolina is home to the story of two sweethearts, I’man (Jude Law) and Ada (Nicole Kidman.) They are torn apart by the upcoming Civil War, along with I’man’s desire to fight for the South. Several years go by, with brutal battles, and I’man longs for Ada, as she does for him. He then decides to desert the war, and head back to the only thing keeping him alive, Ada. As for Ada, she must move on, not knowing whether or not I’man will ever return. Her doubts become stronger as many of Cold Mountain’s residents don’t return. Ada is now alone, and must tend to her farm alone. That is until Ruby (Renee Zellweger)shows up. Ruby is some what of a drifter and knows a thing or two about keeping a farm. Very loud, and tom boy-ish, Ruby certainly rubbed me the wrong way. Renee Zellweger won the Oscar for her role as Ruby, but I just couldn’t stand her. She did a great job though and you are supposed to find her obnoxious and rude. Ada is quite the contrary. She is a Southern Belle, Polite and more attractive. Despite being very different, Ada and Ruby get along just fine with Ruby showing Ada how to keep the farm going. Meanwhile, I’man journeys home and deals with many interesting people. Some of which those characters were played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Natalie Portman, and Giovanni Ribisi. All three provide outstanding performances. I’man just can’t help himself to get into trouble and coming closed to getting killed, not accomplishing his goal of getting home. Jude Law was my favorite character. Although he fought for the south, he did not feel the same way as other Southerners felt about people of other races. He just kept to himself, and did his job. In the beginning he had a yearning for war but three years in, he hated it. I was impressed with many of the supporting actors and how many people were in this movie. One surprise was Jack White, of the White Stripes. He played Georgia very well, and I think he has a good career ahead of him in acting. Brendan Gleeson of Braveheart fame turned in another excellent performance as well. Though the movie is quite long, coming in at 152 mins, the story is told very well and is visually stunning. Most of which was shot in Romania, the backdrop for Cold Mountain, giving you that raw, non-commercialized aspect, as if you were living back in the 1800s.
The extras on disk two were outstanding. The first documentary “Climbing Cold Mountain” was a little over an hour long and covers practically everything you can think of on a film project. From the location scouting down to the screenings and premieres of the movie, the documentary was very in depth. The other extras on here were “The Words and Music of Cold Mountain,” which took place at UCLA’s Royce Hall Theater and has performances from the movie by Jack White, Sting and Alison Krause. Also, readings from the actors and a sit down with director-screenwriter Anthony Minghella alongside with Author of Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier. Other extras on here are deleted scenes, about 10 mins or so, providing some added backstory to Jude Law’s character and a few of the others he meets on the way.
Overall, Cold Mountain was a great romantic epic, with some gruesome war footage as well. All the characters are very believable and they almost become those characters. I was a little disappointed with the ending but you will know what I’m talking about.
Favorite Scenes: The Battle of Petersburg, Jude Law and Natalie Portman’s scenes
Rating: Rated R
Running Time: 152 minutes