A Film Review By Jason L. King
|Rating: Rated R for Violence and Sexuality
Starring:Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellwegger
Directed By:Anthony Minghella
Sometimes the things you know the least about are what turns out to be good. If you had asked anyone earlier what he or she knew about the movie “Cold Mountain” earlier this Holiday season all they could say is “Isn’t that a Nicole Kidman Flick?” Those who are avid readers may point you to the Award Winning Novel, which although I have not read has been summed up to me as “A whole lot of nothing going on and anti-climatic.” So by the time Cold Mountain hit theaters I wasn’t enthused. Sure it had the Oscar Winning Kidman back in this year’s Miramax Holiday Oscar film, but so-so reviews it was receiving made me question if I wanted to attend.
Well I finally became brave enough to brave the Cold weather outside and went to check out Cold Mountain. The story takes place in the Civil War time period and we meet Inmun (Jude Law) a young confederate solider who falls in love with a beautiful woman (Nicole Kidman) right before he heads off to war. As Inmun goes off to serve in the confederate army, Kidman vows to stay and wait for him to return to her. When Inmun has a near death experience he deserts and heads back up to Cold Mountain to reunite with his sweetheart. In the mean time, Kidman has to learn to survive without a man in her life and gets help from a very unladylike “Country girl” played by Renee Zellwegger.
I must say was impressed with the film. It carries the baggage of a two hour and forty-five minute runtime, which is enough to turn most people with a short attention span off, but has a really great cast. Kidman is great as normal; she has really stepped it up in the last few years. But it is Renee Zellwegger who steals the show. Her performance is great, and she stole the show when she was on the screen. Expect a best supporting actress nod for her, and don’t be too surprised if she wins. And as for the Main Character Jude Law he is equally entertaining to watch. However I do find it kind of funny that Jude Law is now being considered a great actor right now. In fact, as I like to point out to people now days who say “ooh! It has Jude Law in it!” I then ask them to name one other film where he has been the main character that anyone actually cared about. His name is always like 3rd on the bill, and most of the time forgotten about. But it is hard to forget about his performance here. Also toss into the mix some great smaller performances by the always pleasing Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Giovanni Ribisi, Donald Sutherland, Natalie Portman, and Ethan Suplee which help make this film a success.
However this film isn’t a huge success. In fact it pretty much falls flat on its face near the end. When Jude Law is traveling home, he is great. When Kidman and Zellwegger are together they are great, but when Law and Kidman finally meet up the movie fizzles out, and dies a painful death. Kidman and Law have zero chemistry and it just doesn’t work. The director attempts a sex scene but it just seems forced and generic when watching. You know something is wrong when you are a 22-year-old guy and a naked Nicole Kidman scene does nothing for you. It is almost sad to see the film literally fall apart in front of your eyes. The story was enjoyable all the way to the end, and then it just suddenly fizzles out to a mere forgettable film by the end.
The problem with Cold Mountain is its lack of climax. By the end if the movie I just really didn’t care about the film. I walked out of the film, glad that I saw it but fully knowing that I wouldn’t want to own it or really even watch it again. If I had to brave the cold again this winter season to see a movie it wouldn’t be Cold Mountain for a second time. It’s not the film Miramax wants it to be. It will get recognized by the academy, but then again just because it is Oscar endorsed doesn’t always make it the “true” film of the year.