Cold Mountain (2003) – Originally written January 2004
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It’s hard to know where to start with “Cold Mountain”. It’s basically excellent.
In this film your faced with the ever popular story of the young in love couple, who yearn for each other across distances and change as people before meeting once more. Add to this mix an array of different characters with stories of their own and you basically have an Oscar’s favourite.
The thing with “Cold Mountain” is that I do find it very hard to judge, and I’m not surprised by it’s mixed reviews. This film for me is a display of how to do something technically very well. The acting is superb, the soundtrack excellent, and the general feel of the film stunning. The problem is that whilst some reviewers will use these qualities, some will look more to if it actually makes the mark with it’s plot. Truthfully, I find myself flipping either way between whether it does or not. The problem with the plot of “Cold Mountain” is that I can’t help but feel that it’s a bit too long. For all the random people in it, some of them do provide alternative viewpoints which are necessary, but some of them feel slightly too drawn out.
If I had to choose four things about this movie, which really make it stand out as a film to watch, I’d choose Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, the occasional beautiful landscape, and Cillian Murphy. To those who are unaware of who he is, your most likely to recognise the actor as Jim in “28 Days Later”, however he is also in another of this years big films as Pieter in “Girl With A Pearl Earring”. Murphy in “Cold Mountain” plays a Yankie fighter who finds himself at the home of Natalie Portman and who is starving. As his two friends forsake their morals for food and for sexual gratification, Murphy shows a sign that for all the fighting in the war, people on both sides have moral problems with events and find themselves unable to act upon others misdemenors.
Ultimately, I’d recommend to everyone that you go watch this film. For the romantics there is a beautiful love story, for the violence enthusiasts out there, there is a lot of fake blood and violence, and for those who want to know how to create a successful, technically superb movie, there is “Cold Mountain”.