1864: Inman (Law) has had his fill of civil war. Wounded, he deserts the military hospital and sets off on foot for home - and Ada (Kidman). It's an arduous odyssey across the Carolinas. Only Ada's cherished love letters keep him going. The country is sick, starving and tyrannised by Confederate Home Guards. Back at Cold Mountain, gentle Ada is orphaned and alone, until ruddy Ruby (Zellweger) arrives to put the farm to rights. If Miramax had another English Patient in their sights (or another Gone With the Wind), Cold Mountain emerges as a bloodier, muddier wartime romance. Minghella's adaptation of Charles Frazier's bestseller, beautifully crafted in all departments, establishes its chaotic and hazardous time with complete conviction, and the opening battle scene is masterly stuff. Layering flashbacks of the lovers' decorous courtship three years previously with Inman's painful progress and Ada's straitened circumstances, the storytelling is never less than compelling, even over a generous two and a half hours. It's episodic, of course, but many of these Homeric interventions have a searing intensity and probing moral engagement unusual in blockbuster entertainment. There's vivid work from a stellar cast, notably Portman as a war bride, Hoffman as an unconventional priest, Gannon and Gleeson. But Kidman is a shade mature for Scarlett - sorry, Ada - and erratic accents infect Winstone and Atkins in roles innumerable Americans could have played. Not a problem for Law, as Inman suffers nobly in long periods of silence. If the love story is asked to carry more weight than it can bare, at least this is a film of rich measure and ambition.
Special Features Featurette - 1. Making Of / 2. Visual & Special Effects - Open Scene / Deleted Scenes / Theatrical Trailer / Production Notes
Main Language English
Cast and crew
Philip Seymour Hoffman