Saturday, January 03, 2004

Cold Mountain (IMDB) (Netflix)
Jude Law has had too much of the Civil War and is heading home, Homerically, to Nicole Kidman, his life's love, even though he's not sure that she even remembers his name. Meanwhile, Nicole's not coping well with life on the homefront, what with the predatious Home Guard and because of her Southern Belle upbringing, an impressive lack of practical skills. Renee Zellweger provides the comic relief and feminist backbone, and Philip Seymour Hoffman has a nice turn as an amoral preacher. An anti-war film that focuses on those left behind, and a testament to true, distant love.

There's not much to complain about here, except maybe that much later one gets this sense of a collection of beats (touchingly chaste romance, war is hell, comic relief, brutality of man—rinse and repeat) that disaggregates from what seemed at the time like a cohesive story. And (he whinged, warming to the task) Kidman seems like an actress fought over by two wildly different make-up artists, or a contest between Grace Kelly Kidman vs. Madame Toussaud Kidman.