When I comment on features, it's to share my analysis of story, characters, action and performances.
Who liked this film? I watched it yesterday on DVD, thank God, so I could take kitchen and bathroom breaks while absolutely nothing was going on.
First, of course, it must be said that that Nicole remains breathtakingly beautiful, and despite her ersatz accent, what I call a transparent actress. There's simply no sense that she's acting in the film.
Interestingly, Jude Law gets top billing. He's bigger than Nicole? Now, Jude is one handsome fellow, and an actor with great range. So if you were the director, and you had a super handsome actor as your lead...a Pierce Brosnan, Tom Cruise or the like, would you make him up to look like Chewbacca? Thank you, Anthony Minghella, for covering Jude's face with hair. Half the time I couldn't tell if it was Jude or somebody else. Compare his appearance to his makeup in A.I., where he was made to look perfect, and did. If Renee could help him shave with a knife at the end of the movie, because he wanted to, why wouldn't he shave during the entire war and shlep north? Because he only had a date with his hand? This is the most incredibly sexless movie I have seen in years.
And poor Oscar winner Zellweger. Her early scenes when she arrives at Nicole's farm were some of the worst acting I've ever seen. And she didn't get much better as the picture went on. Hello, Academy. This is a supporting actress award, not Best Impression of Shirley Temple.
I could go on and on about the absurdity of the years-long love story, in which people who barely met spend their days pining away for each other, but why bother? All we need do is look at the closing sequence, where we are supposed to believe that Nicole Kidman, the child she conceived in one graphic sexual encounter (including totally flat shots of Jude's hand arousing Nicole's vagina), the father dead, no intention of remarrying, her pal Renee, another victim, and their older female friend, who watched her husband and two sons murdered, are happy as clams with their new lives, the sun is shining, the Civil War is over, and happiness is in full bloom. Give me a break.
And by the way, Mr. Minghella, using Civil War weaponry, the odds that every handgun shot you fire hits the target head on is like some 1860's version of The Matrix.
Cold Mountain is a loser.