Tuesday 18th January 2022

Cold Mountain (15)
Directed by: Anthony Minghella
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

Picture the scene. The year is 1864, and Ulysses S. Grant is leading the North to victory over the Confederate South in the American Civil War. A bearded Jude Law, tired of the killing and the misery of a pointless war, decides to return home to the town of Cold Mountain, where his sweetheart, Nicole Kidman, is waiting for him.

Jack White from The White Stripes as Georgia
Jack White from The White Stripes as Georgia

This two and a half hour epic follows his odyssey, as he encounters a variety of characters portrayed by an exceptionally strong cast, interspersed with Kidman's struggle to survive in a town with virtually no men.

Cold Mountain is technically excellent, the performances from the entire cast are outstanding and I was especially impressed by Natalie Portman's brief but spectacular scenes. The set design and costumes are wonderful, which is not surprising as the crew of this movie have had previous experience on the likes of Gangs Of New York and O Brother Where Art Thou? It is well directed by Anthony Minghella (The English Patient), and like the book on which it is based, it certainly does not glamorise the Civil War, which has claimed more American lives than any other war to date.

Having said that, this film is not exactly easy to watch, and rather than being powerful, I just found it a bit depressing. Almost every character you encounter gets either beaten up, killed or beaten up and killed, leaving you with more than one gruesome memory to take home.

All in all, this is one of those films that you are glad to have seen, but probably wouldn't want to watch again for quite a while. If you're just after a couple of hours of light entertainment, then perhaps you'd be better off with one of the other week's releases, such as School Of Rock, which I anticipate to be one of the year's best comedies.

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Length: 152 minutes
Certificate: 15
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 2nd February 2004

Top Five Rating: 70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0% (70.0%)
User Rating: 0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0% (0.0%)

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