Cold Mountain

Cold Moutain (2003) written and directed by Anthony Minghella and based on a book by Charles Fraser. I’ve read the book and seen the film before, but in my usual way couldn’t remember either. I could remember Nicole Kidman, who can be plain and pretty and beautiful all at the same time, but I couldn’t remember Jude Law. So there it is. One goes to war, in this case The American Civil War and one waits. I’ll not spoil it by telling you which is which. The surprising thing was there was nothing between them but one kiss and some letters, and, of course, a great passion. At one point Nicole lies in bed and reads a snatch of Wuthering Heights to the hick girl that has saved her, and helped keep her alive, Rene Zelweger. They have their own problems among the blasted landscape, including Ray Winstone, as the head of a posse of lawmen who are judge and jury who follow a whim of bloodletting which they seem to enjoy. As a wounded deserter Jude making the long trek back to Cold Mountain and meets death in a number of guises, but he also finds kindness and courage in others. The denouement, when it comes, is beautifully wrought, but the last self-satisfied ten minutes should have been chopped. I can’t remember enjoying this first time around, but hey it kept me up to two am.