A/V Room









Cold Mountain - Preview

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 Gleeson.

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.


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