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Volume 6, Issue 3                                    University of Houston

'Cold Mountain' offers twist on love story

By Geronimo Rodriguez
Breaking News

After fighting through a slew of uninspiring characters and trudging past one too many subplots, Anthony Minghella's Cold Mountain delivers one of the most intriguing love stories in recent years.

Even in subtle moments, Nicole Kidman and Jude Law's chemistry is a true testament to how fine acting can complement good storytelling. While Kidman's Ada Monroe weeps like Suellen O'Hara, Law's Inman journeys to the hell that is the Civil War -- and back to his sweetheart.

Based on Charles Frazier's book, Minghella's screenplay is inbred with a strange idea of love -- at least by Hollywood's standards. Law and Kidman's characters are aware that they hardly know one another, but they fight for their love. The fact that they realize how silly their relationship might be makes the film interesting and adds some realism to the love saga.

The love story between Jude Law's Inman and Nicole Kidman's Ada Monroe carries the picturesque Cold Mountain beyond its banalities.

Photo courtesy of Miramax Films

Is the Kidman/Law connection worth watching Philip Seymour Hoffman prance around in his dirty underpants or Giovanni Ribisi do his impression of a mountain man swimming in moonshine? Probably not.

But patience is a virtue for this film's audience. Renee Zellweger swoops in to make up for some of the film's weak moments and gives Kidman's Ada a kick in the butt. If the Katy native left anyone standing with Chicago, she's knocked them down with her effort as Ruby, a fast-talking sawed-off stick of dynamite who explodes onto the screen.

The film begins with Ada, a reverend's daughter, arriving in Cold Mountain only to catch the eye of a rugged Inman who wants nothing more than to go to war. The next best thing for Inman is sending his woman a pile of sheet music or standing beside Ada, saying nothing and something at the same time.

When the war breaks out, tears and frustration for the budding couple sets in, and the setting leaves audiences waiting for the worst-case scenario.

At times the film lacks narrative focus, but Minghella knows how to tell a solid story. Minghella captures beautiful master shots, adding a few ingenious moments, as he continues to make his presence felt in the film industry. 

Cold Mountain

Miramax Films

Rated: R

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Jude Law

The verdict: Cold Mountain is a flawed but beautiful film with superb acting.

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