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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films in a long while.
A separated 'sort of' boyfriend and 'sort of' girlfriend become all and everything to each other while struggling their way through the devastations of the Civil War. Inman (Jude Law) is a poor carpenter in a small North Carolina mountain town who has a strong mutual attraction to a 'better class' girl named Ada Monroe (Nicole Kidman). Social status dictates and the...
Published on July 19 2004

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars "3 1/2 stars actually....Not Quite Best Picture,either"
I bought the DVD of Cold Mountain, "excited" to see a film friends and family "raved" about, I'm glad I own a copy,I enjoyed the extra features,and the movie. I can ,however, understand Hollywood not giving the film "Best Picture"...
I wanted to subtitle this review, "been there, done that!".
Good individual acting...
Published on July 7 2004


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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films in a long while., July 19 2004
By A Customer
A separated 'sort of' boyfriend and 'sort of' girlfriend become all and everything to each other while struggling their way through the devastations of the Civil War. Inman (Jude Law) is a poor carpenter in a small North Carolina mountain town who has a strong mutual attraction to a 'better class' girl named Ada Monroe (Nicole Kidman). Social status dictates and the proper decorum of the day prevent them from plunging forth in the direction their hearts want to go, but when Inman leaves for war, they lay bare their passion and agree to correspond during his absence's duration.
Upon her father's death, Ada finds herself alone and penniless in the world, and unable to manage her large farm on her own. In a letter, she asks Inman to return to her, and he, no longer able to tolerate the depressing daily horrors of war, obligingly abandons his post to tramp home on foot. Now a deserter, he is hunted by the law and encounters obstacle after obstacle on his journey toward his 'ain true love'. Back at the farm, a no-nonsense, take-charge young woman, Ruby (Renee Zellweger), has appeared, and is as determined to build helpless Ada up from being a self-sorrowful belle into a self-sufficient survivor as she is to save the farm from ruin with hard work. Ruby becomes Ada's bonded friend and essential helper, while Ada and Inman become each other's goal to live and strive for.
The cast does a flawless job with their roles and the costumes, location shots, and music are all top quality. Phillip Seymour Hoffmann proves yet again that he's the greatest character actor of modern times. He's always brilliantly playing somewhat unsavory fellows with mental issues. And Charlie Hunnam, usually G.Q.-style gorgeous, usually a 'good guy' onscreen, so efficiently turned himself into one of Cold Mountain's most sinister creeps, I didn't even recognize it was him until the ending credits!
This movie reminds me of a contemporary version of 'Gone With the Wind', much more raw and real, and without the soap operatic flourishes. Those with intellectual minds, sentimental streaks, or both, shall not be disappointed.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Another reason to skip the next Anthony Minghella film!, July 18 2004
By A Customer
From Zellweger's overhyped performance to Kidman's not-believable portrayal of a love-sick, starving victim of the Civil War, here is a film that starts slow and quickly downshifts. How DOES one manage to make a Civil War "epic" with almost no black people in it? Oh, wait, this is supposed to be an "epic love story." Yep, a love story wherein the hero and heroine have exchanged about a dozen sentences each, but manage to never never never stop thinking of each other over the miles and years and events that separate them. I gave this movie two stars solely on the basis of Jude Law's performance, which I thought was very well done (he almost made me believe that love stuff), especially considering that he has never ranked among my favorite actors. From cardboard villains to feminist-leaning heroines to a plot steadily sinking under a mass of phoney southern accents (granted that Zellweger's accent was real enough, just more Texas than Tennessee is all - and her little truisms were cute enough to make me ill) and more hormonal angst than one could conceive of in a film not about teenagers, this is not a movie to be trifled with. There is unwarranted nudity, inserted just to make you remember this is the South - as in Deliverance - you're watching, and it borders on the pornographic. The sex scene between hero and heroine is also overdone and unnecessary. Somebody PLEASE tell director Minghella that LESS IS MORE!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Renee Zellweger makes it great! AWESOME MOVIE!, July 18 2004
By A Customer
I know this film doesn't normally get high reviews, but I have to say this is my FAVORITE movie of all time! There are many things that make this movie awesome, here are some...
The first would have to be Renee Zellweger. I must admit, if it weren't for Zellweger, I would not love the movie as much as I do now. I still would love it, but she really tops it off. I personally find her character (Ruby Thewes) in this movie hillarious. I didn't even know who Renee was, (no offence) until I saw this film, but I know now! I just wish she were in the movie more than she is!
The second thing that made me love Cold Mountain was the setting. The setting is so beautiful. If you really like country settings, you will like this one. The whole "farm look" and old town style is great. It is some what similar to the setting in the movie The Missing.
I thought the love story in this movie was creative and nice, but I liked everything else better. If you are looking for a real touching love story you should read a book by Nicholas Sparks, but that is besides the point.
Here is some advice, if you are looking for a real war movie, Cold Mountain is probably not the best when it comes to action, it does have action though, but not a lot compared to something like Band of Brothers. You should give it a try though, because it shows what life was like for the people back home during the Civil War.
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1.0 out of 5 stars From Oscar to Lostya, July 18 2004
By 
M. DALTON (Brisbane, Queensland Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
From the biting wit of TRULY MADLY DEEPLY, to the Oscar sweeping epic power of THE ENGLISH PATIENT, to the solemn, if slightly overwrought THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY comes the inexplicably uninteresting COLD MOUNTAIN.
Every year it seems there is at least one film that is being touted as one of the best. So oversold is this downright dreadful film that the general public are brainwashed into believing they are witnessing cinematic art. In recent years, it has been such "films" as MOULIN ROUGE, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES, SEABISCUIT, GANGS OF NEW YORK, LEAVING LAS VEGAS...the list is endless. This year, undoubtedly, is the artificial, shoddily written, disjointed, badly acted, uninvolving, predictable nonsense that is COLD MOUNTAIN.
Renee Zelleweger delivers a bizarre caricature that comes off as a cross between Annie Oakley & Ma Kettle(check out NURSE BETTY to see how brilliant she can be).
After his utterly flawless performance in MR. RIPLEY, Jude Law's work here seems only to depend on how grizzled he can look & how long he can sustain it for.
Nicole Kidman..well, the less said, the better.
Minghella throws one ugly & utterly manufactured scene after another at his innocent audience; the sets & situations are so completely unconvincing, you can almost hear him yelling "Action"!
Is this the result of someone being drunk with power? Or is this a great director's first fall from grace?
Either way, it's a waste. Of money. Of a considerable amount of talent. Of the audience's time. Thank God I saw this one for free.....
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2.0 out of 5 stars White Stripes Lovers Beware!, July 17 2004
By A Customer
If you're a huge "White Stripes" fan like I am (I own both their albums) And you heard through the grape vine that the Guy from White Stripes is in this movie you may be tempted to run out and rent it. But "RENTER BEWARE!" He is hardly in the movie at all. I'd say he was in it a fifth of the amount of time that the guy who got shot in the neck was in it. considering the Epic length of this movie that's not a whole heck of a lot of frames. I'm wondering how much of his footage ended up on the proverbial cutting room floor (if you get my drift). Nuff said...
Here's a question: What about the girl from "White Stripes"--they couldn't find a role for her in this film? I would have cast her as in a second over the "You had me at hello" chick. I'm thinking about the convienience factor too as recording and performing etc. must have been difficult while the the guy from "White Stripes" was in Transilvainia filming. but I'm no producer nor am I the son of a producer. My dad was a chaufer. Once he waved his hand across the horizan and said "See all that? None of that'll ever be yours." which is why the one thing I could totally relate to in the movie was how those soldiers at the bottom of the pile must have felt.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Never really takes off, July 16 2004
By 
Ivy Lin (NY NY) - See all my reviews
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Have you ever been to a wedding? In some of them, you will inevitably see a bride, naturally very pretty, who is so covered with makeup, hair extensions, a tiara, lace, silk, gauze and corsages that instead of feeling awe you think, "Wow, the poor groom. How's he ever going to take all that s__t off tonight?" The Bride, meanwhile, is a victim of Tries Too Hard.
I feel like Cold Mountain tries too hard. It has an all-star cast, impeccable scenery, a gushy score, and a romantic plot. In the end though, it's a victim of its own self-reverence and good taste. Despite the starry casting all the actors look like theyre trying too hard, instead of really BEING. For instance, you can see Nicole Kidman's exact performance every time you watch the Oscars. She acts like shes on the red carpet -- a mix of coy, sassy, and drop-dead gorgeous. Her character, Ada, often voices over letter she writes to her beloved Inman (Jude Law) in what I call "movie voiceovers". You know, the gushy, semi-whispery ("Come baaaack to me") voice that no one ever uses in real life. Jude Law is a little more interesting, in part because Inman's tale is more adventurous. Renee Zellwegger won an Oscar for her performance as the red-neck Ruby, and she's every salt-of-the-earth, tough-tender, crude-but-goodhearted movie cliche rolled into one.
The story? Oh there's a soldier and he deserts while his girlfriend tries to manage a farm in the Civil War. But is it a good movie? A good love story? Certainly I never got into it, although both the actors and the cinematograph is easy on the eyes. In fact, the movie seems like a relic. There's obligatory sex and violence, but the overall effect is more like a Norman Rockwell painting than anything. In comparison, Gone With the Wind, with its unabashed political incorrectness towards slaves and delightfully amoral lead characters, seems like the very model of historical veracity and emotional truth. That's saying a lot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Cold Mountain" celebrates the triumph of the human spirit!!, July 15 2004
From Academy Award winning director Anthony Minghella ("The English Patient", "The Talented Mr. Ripley") comes "Cold Mountain", one of the most powerful, stunning, and unforgettable epics ever to grace the big screen! The direction of Minghella was nothing short of extraordinary! The performances of Academy Award nominee Jude Law ("A.I.: Artificial Intelligence") and Academy Award winners Nicole Kidman ("The Hours") and Renee Zellweger ("Chicago") were, in every possible way, outstanding! Rounding out the cast are Eileen Atkins ("Cold Comfort Farm"), Brendan Gleeson ("Lake Placid"), Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Punch-Drunk Love"), Natalie Portman ("Star Wars: Episodes I and II"), Giovanni Ribisi ("Saving Private Ryan"), Donald Sutherland ("A Time to Kill"), Ray Winstone ("Sexy Beast"), Kathy Baker ("Lush Life"), Jack White (of the White Stripes), and Melora Walters ("Magnolia"), in which they gave excellent performances alongside the three leads.
From the best-selling novel by Charles Frazier, "Cold Mountain" puts the focus on W.P. Inman (Law), a carpenter from Cold Mountain, N.C. who develops an attraction for a proper lady named Ada Monroe (Kidman), while working on building a new church. Ada catches an eye for Inman when she arrives in the town of Cold Mountain with her father, Rev. Monroe (Sutherland). Unable to express himself, Inman finds it difficult to express his feelings for Ada, which she eagerly returns with similar shyness. When the Civil War comes into Cold Mountain, Inman, along with a handful of others, enlists in the fight, leaving behind Ada just as they were about to embark on a passionate romance of their own. Over the next four years, Ada sends Inman letters of love and hope, even as her own life is beginning to fall apart. In the aftermath of the war, not to mention recovering from a gunshot wound, Inman decides to desert the Confederacy and return home to Cold Mountain. Along the way, Inman meets an assortment of colorful characters that alternately help and hinder his progress, including a young mother (Portman) and another reverend (Hoffman) of a town that Inman is passing through. Back in Cold Mountain, Ruby Thewes (Zellweger), a drifter and skilled farmhand, walks into Ada's life and helps her tend to the land, as well as protecting her from the lawmen (led by Winstone) who look to take over the nearly deserted town.
"Cold Mountain", once again, comes from the Charles Frazier's best-selling novel of long-lost love, companionship, and redemption, set against the time of rapid morale loss of the South during the final moments of the Civil War. Writer/director Minghella does quite a job in adapting the book for the big screen. However, with exact attention to detail, magnificent casting, and source material ripe for the picking, "Cold Mountain" makes for a stirring success in every way imaginable.
While the film is exquisitely mounted and written, a good chunk of its power comes from the supporting cast, as Minghella took advantage of planting acting surprises around every corner. As Jude Law's Inman makes his pilgrimage to Cold Mountain, he meets up with the likes of fine actors as, once again, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Giovanni Ribisi, Melora Walters, Jena Malone, and an excellent Natalie Portman. As for Nicole Kidman's internal journey of Ada, she encounters Donald Sutherland, Ray Winstone, Charlie Hunnam, Kathy Baker, James Gammon, Brendan Gleeson, Ethan Suplee, and Jack White (of the White Stripes band). The community vibe of the actors is intoxicating, casting a spell over the film.
The three leads of "Cold Mountain" do not disappoint either, to say the least. Jude Law brings a quiet, hungry determination to his almost dialog-free role of Inman. Nicole Kidman tackles another accent and succeeds. Minghella has chosen her journey of Ada as the most profound of the story, and Kidman rises to the challenge elegantly, adding another notch to her impressive film career, not to mention coming off an Academy Award win for her role in "The Hours". Law and Kidman both shade their performances accordingly, staying true to their situation, which is even more heartbreaking and ultimately devastating to behold. The real soul of "Cold Mountain" is found in the Academy Award winning supporting performance of Renee Zellweger's Ruby. The brunt nature of Ruby is an element to Zellweger's acting. There are passionate performances all around, guided well by Minghella, but Zellweger is different and brilliant in her own unique cadence and posture.
In conclusion, "Cold Mountain" comes at a time when big battles and epic landscapes are all the rage. Through Anthony Minghella's ace direction, the film transforms from a prospective thudding tearjerker to something much more enriching and absorbing. "Cold Mountain" is a remarkable motion picture, and an unforgettable one at that. Especially since the film has top-notch talents from an all-star cast and the characters that they portray, riveting storytelling, and heartfelt emotion. I now own the 2-disc DVD, with features such as deleted scenes, "making-of" documentaries, storyboard comparisons, and much more. There will be no other film quite like "Cold Mountain"!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Civil War Odyssey, July 13 2004
By A Customer
Anthony Minghella's tragedy of the weary soldier who only longs to be with his promised love. The theme is a variation on Homer's Odyssey where, after years of surviving the depravities of war, the hero-soldier undertakes a perilous journey home; reuniting with his loved one only after many trials and tribulations. Although the theme isn't new, the script properly grasps the attitudes and mannerisms of the time. The cinematography and editing is top knotch.
Nicole Kidman plays Ada, a preacher's daughter who, in 1860, moves with her father to the rustic bliss of Cold Mountain, North Carolina. Ada falls in love with Inman (Jude Law) but, before their love can be consummated, Inman answers to the call of duty and joins the Confederate Army. Before he leaves, Ada promises to wait for his return and to marry him. By 1864, Inman is a broken man: shocked by the brutal realities of war and seeing no purpose to the carnage. He sees the Confederacy as doomed and, longing for Ada, resigns himself to deserting the army. He begins his long perilous journey from the frontlines to his home. In the meantime, things go from bad to worse in Cold Mountain and Ada is forced to hold the house on her own. Exploiting her fears that Inman may be dead, prospective suitors unwelcomingly court Ada. In the meantime, Ada welcomes a runaway girl named Ruby (Renée Zellweger)to help her with the farm's chores. The climax of the film rises as Inman comes closer to home. Sadly for both Ada and Inman, their reunion is bittersweet.
Again, the story is a thematic variation from the Odyssey. The warrior-hero leaves to face the horrors of war and returns only after a long life-changing journey. The acting is great although I think Nicole Kidman was too well groomed for her role. Even if immaculate and beautiful, women of the 1860s didn't look as if they just came out of a Hollywood beauty salon: especially those who lived and worked in a rural setting. A great romantic tragedy that appeals to both men and women. I strongly recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Civil War Odyssey, July 12 2004
By A Customer
Anthony Minghella's tragedy of the weary soldier who only longs to be with his promised love. The theme is a variation on Homer's Odyssey where, after years of surviving the depravities of war, the hero-soldier undertakes a perilous journey home; reuniting with his loved one only after many trials and tribulations. Although the theme isn't new, the script properly grasps the attitudes and mannerisms of the time. The cinematography and editing is top knotch.
Nicole Kidman plays Ada, a preacher's daughter who, in 1860, moves with her father to the rustic bliss of Cold Mountain, North Carolina. Ada falls in love with Inman (Jude Law) but, before their love can be consummated, Inman answers to the call of duty and joins the Confederate Army. Before he leaves, Ada promises to wait for his return and to marry him. By 1864, Inman is a broken man: shocked by the brutal realities of war and seeing no purpose to the carnage. He sees the Confederacy as doomed and, longing for Ada, resigns himself to deserting the army. He begins his long perilous journey from the frontlines to his home. In the meantime, things go from bad to worse in Cold Mountain and Ada is forced to hold the house on her own. Exploiting her fears that Inman may be dead, prospective suitors unwelcomingly court Ada. In the meantime, Ada welcomes a runaway girl named Ruby (Renée Zellweger)to help her with the farm's chores. The climax of the film rises as Inman comes closer to home. Sadly for both Ada and Inman, their reunion is bittersweet.
Again, the story is a thematic variation from the Odyssey. The warrior-hero leaves to face the horrors of war and returns only after a long life-changing journey. The acting is great although I think Nicole Kidman was too well groomed for her role. Even if immaculate and beautiful, women of the 1860s didn't look as if they just came out of a Hollywood beauty salon: especially those who lived and worked in a rural setting. A great romantic tragedy that appeals to both men and women. I strongly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful film displaying an intense love story..., July 10 2004
Cold Mountain is traumatic love story of hope, loss, and dreams where Inman (Jude Law) is at war against the North and his beloved Ada Monroe (Nicole Kidman) is home anticipating his return. The only news Ada receives is that more men are dying as most of the former male population of Cold Mountain is now dead. Inman continuously reads the few letters that he has received as it keeps him hoping of getting home and holding his adored Ada in his arms. However, he only sees blood and mud up to the knees as the meaningless war is fought and more men are being killed. This leaves mothers mourning their children and wives turning into widows. Despite this madness Inman is a decorated soldier who has frequently displayed his courage in battle, which often leads him into further battles as the officers trust his dedication. In a nightly skirmish Inman is wounded and sent to a hospital where he receives another letter from Ada begging him to stop marching for war and return home as she is helplessly anticipating his return. Inman decides to do as Ada requests as he hears that the South is now fighting a losing war, but he also knows that if he is captured he is considered a deserter and deserters are shot on the spot.

Cold Mountain is a powerful film displaying an intense love story between Ada and Inman where the Civil War is separating them indefinitely. The Minghella illustrates the importance of love as it is what keeps Inman alive and dreaming of something much better than the malice of war. However, Minghella shows the contrast to love by shooting some very graphic battles scenes that erupt in the audience's face where soldiers stab, shot, and maim each other in the name of freedom and peace. The most intense example is where the soldiers are stepping on top of wounded men in the bottom of a mud pit where they are to face a certain death. This demonstrates the ease of destroying life while the difficulty in maintaining life is showed throughout the film. The film also address women's issues through the many different women in the film and how their lives are threatened as the men are killed at war. When viewing this film it brings strong emotions against war and wishes that the women would go on similar strike as in Aristophanes's Lysistrata. This is definitely a very political film as it offers much pondering why we are here while we are here, which in the end offers a great cinematic experience.
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