Preview by: Jack Foley
ONE of the big Winter releases which has Oscar contender written
all over it, is surely Cold Mountain, Anthony Minghella's Civil
War epic, starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renée Zellweger.
Based on the best-selling, National Book Award-winning novel
by Charles Frazier, the story focuses on a wounded Civil War soldier,
Inman (Law), who gets up from what doctors suspected was his deathbed,
and begins the long, difficult walk home to Cold Mountain, N.C.,
so he can be with the woman, Ada (Kidman), he loves and left behind.
Ada, meanwhile, who is heartbroken, lonely, and struggling to
care for her father's farm, receives a helping hand in the form
of a tough wanderer (Zellweger).
Advance word on the movie is very hot, with many seeing it as
a surefire contender for Oscar success come awards season.
Needless to say, it has been financed by Miramax, the Oscar specialists,
and co-stars an equally heavyweight support cast, including Philip
Seymour Hoffman, Giovanni Ribisi, Natalie Portman and Brendan
An early review, on Aint It Cool News, positively raves, describing
the film as a Civil War-set version of The Odyssey, which is far
more violent and graphic than initially expected.
Plaudits go to all of the main performers, although, according
to the Aint It Cool source, Zellweger steals the show, injecting
some much needed humour into proceedings.
Minghella, too, remains upbeat about the movie, and has retained
many of the same performers who helped him to such success with
The Talented Mr Ripley.
Casting did prove difficult, however, given that most of Hollywood's
A-list wanted to appear in it, including a persistent rumour surrounding
Tom Cruise (whose own Oscar contender, The Last Samurai, debuts
about the same time in America).
Yet Minghella remains confident in Law's ability to cope with
the demands of the role, stating, in an interview with Time Out,
that he had absolutely no doubts when casting him.
And Law, too, seems to have got a lot out of the role, describing
his character, Inman, as 'the first person I played who I wanted
to learn from'.
He goes on to describe many of his other roles as fascinating
characters, which he found repellent, but claims there is a lot
of humanity in his Civil War survivor, who heads back to Ada in
search of redemption and atonement.
The movie is scheduled to open on Christmas Day in the US, with
a UK debut on Boxing Day in the UK, in London only (nationwide
from Jan 2).
Needless to say, we shall be monitoring its process, from US
release, through to our verdict and its fate come the Awards season.