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Cold Mountain Movie Review (8.5/10)

Posted on February 17th, 2004 filed in Movie Reviews    |   

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This is the movie adaptation of Charles Frazier’s Award-winning novel. It tells the dramatic love story of a beautiful, young, southern couple, Inman and Ada, forced to be separated by the American Civil War, at the peek of their infatuation. During the intense battle scenes, Ada’s memory never leaves Inman’s mind, and after being severely wounded, Inman decides to desert the army and go back home to Cold Mountain to find his sweetheart. Along the way, he meets people of all walks of life, showing us the atrocities of war and the kindness of some people that may remain. In the meanwhile, Ada has lost her father and found herself all alone, struggling with her aristocratic background, without the means or know how to be able to run a farm and survive. Comes Ruby, a Southern, farm girl, with whom a heart warming friendship develops and together they struggle to make it through the harsh winter and face many adventures of their own…


The director of Cold Mountain, Anthony Minghella, already renowned for his amazing work in the ‘English Patient’ and ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’, continues to deliver wonderful adaptation by doing justice to the original literary material.

This movie shows us the brutality of war in its rawness. The battle scenes, without being overdone, are very effective. The opening, horrific, explosive scene shows us a bloody close up of decapitated bodies and the pain of the wounded soldiers whereas the remaining parts of the movie show us the decapitated souls of the people during the war.

Despite the high level of aggression, the movie retains a high level of softness as well, due to the love that Inman and Ada hold for each other throughout the years. Their letters and thoughts for each other keep a soft, romantic touch during the harshest scenes.

I loved the woman with the goats, who rescued Inman in the forest. She symbolizes how in war times being secluded from society is much saner than being part of it and she portrays a tremendous amount of courage by choosing to help a complete stranger despite the risk “of cutting her life short”. Nathalie Portman also gets across the screen the desperation and fear of widows left behind during the war.

Jude Law, playing Inman, the southern worker and then soldier, a man of few words yet full of emotions and integrity plays his role wonderfully. I think any women will understand Adda’s determination to wait for him. Nicole Kidman, playing Ada, lights up the screen with her beauty and softness. She is a true southern belle with her long golden hair, and small waist figure. You feel her longing is genuine and the onscreen chemistry between her and Jude Law is undeniable and inspiring. Renee Zellweger gives an unbelievable performance in her role as the rough, farm girl Ruby. What a difference from the soft roles we are used to for Renee. Her accent, mannerisms, clothes; everything about her deserves an academy award.

This movie remains with you long after you have seen it. It is a powerful movie full of love, courage, spectacular scenery, with an excellent director and an impeccable cast. It portrays the good and the bad in people and even leaves us with some hope. Highly Recommended.

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