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COLD MOUNTAIN

My patience isnít what it used to be.
Though itís a good movie, I couldnít wait for Cold Mountain to be over. It wasnít that slow, but it just seemed so long.

Anthony Minghella apparently only makes epic movies. Well, at least the only other flick I remember him doing was The English Patient, and that was a big epic too, so there. He definitely has a good eye. Like The English Patient, Cold Mountain mixes poignant romance with the horrors of war, but this time itís the Civil War. You know, I knew this movie had the Civil War as a backdrop, but I didnít expect the movie to be nearly as horrific as it is. Damn, this was pretty ugly at times.

Jude Law plays the strong and silent type, who falls for Nicole Kidman right before heading off to war. The movie basically follows Lawís struggle to return to Kidman, and Kidmanís struggle to survive on her own in the harsh world that the rural south was during the war. Along the way we meet many characters, all very well played by the likes of Renee Zellweger, Kathy Baker, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Donald Sutherland, Melora Walters, Giovanni Ribisi, and the one and only Natalie Portman. Ms Portman has very little screen time, but her performance is very moving. Actually, every body does a really great job, especially the leads, which actually includes Zellweger. She has a great character and does a really nice job of almost being comic relief while touching your heart. Nicole Kidman is a stunning woman, and does a really great, believable job. And she does a nice job with the Southern accent. Jude Law is an amazing actor. I knew this from A.I. and ROAD TO PERDITION, but itís still good to see him do his thing. Probably the most surprising thing in Cold Mountain is that Jack White is in it. Heís half of the band, The White Stripes. And he actually had to act. Good job, dude.

Like BIG FISH, Cold Mountain is based on a novel. But this time Iím gonna stick with the movie. I canít imagine reading a long Civil War novel. That probably makes me sound like quite the simpleton. Sorry. Itís funny, but I remember way back in Junior High School (you youngíuns today know that as Middle School) I was very interested in the Civil War part of History class. But today watching the movie, it was just so barbaric at times, and so unfathomable that this country almost split itself in two that way. Scary stuff, really.
But Cold Mountain has some heart to offset the brutality, or if anything, to make it all the more horrifying. It aint pretty, but itís good.

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