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Running Time:
154 minute

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for violence and sexuality

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
This is first great Civil War epic since "Gone with the Wind." It's one of the best films of the year, with some outsanding performances, especially Renee Zellweger in the role than won her the Academy Award as best supporting actress.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Deleted scenes; "Words & Music of Cold Mountain": Royce Hall special; "Climbing Cold Mountain" documentary; "A Journey to Cold Mountain": Making-of special; Feature commentary with writer/director Anthony Minghella and editor Walter Murch; Sacred Harp history; Storyboard comparisons.

Cold Mountain
Written and directed by Academy Award®-winner Anthony Minghella ("The English Patient", "The Talented Mr. Ripley") and based on Charles Frazier's best-selling Civil War novel of the same name, "Cold Mountain" is the story of Inman (Jude Law, "The Talented Mr. Ripley"), a wounded confederate soldier who is on a perilous journey home to his North Carolina mountain community, after deserting from the confederate army where he was injured in battle, and hoping to reunite with the pre-war sweetheart he hardly knew, Ada (Nicole Kidman, "The Hours"). In his absence, Ada struggles to keep her father's farm running after his death, but with little success until an intrepid young drifter Ruby (Renee Zelwegger, "Chicago), comes along and uses her earthy common sense to help the inexperienced Ada return the now neglected land into productivity. Meanwhile they must fend off the local Home Guard, led by a treacherous Teague (Ray Winstone, "Sexy Beast") and his young blond-henchman Bosie (Charlie Hunnam, "Nicholas Nickleby"), and they must also deal with the surprising return of Ruby's long gone, fiddle-playing father (Brendan Gleeson, "Gangs of New York"), presumed dead, but now back with two fellow musicians. Minghella has altered and in some ways improved on the novel, sharpening the emotional connection between the long-separated lovers and underscoring the perils of a land ravaged by an extended war. Combat scenes early in the film emphasize the chaos of murderous hand-to-hand fighting in the 1864 siege of Petersburg, Virginia, and the scenes of desolation and death in the muddy aftermath of battle, with flies buzzing over piles of corpses, graphically depicts the unfathomable carnage of this horrendous war. No wonder that Inman wants to leave it all behind and return to his mountain town and his love. Inman is the Civil War equivalent of Homer's Odysseus as he treks across a land bled dry by the ravages of war. He alternately meets people who offer him kindness, food and care and others who attempt to get him drunk in order to collect the bounty imposed on deserters. On his journey, he encounters a lonely widow (Natalie Portman, "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones"), nursing a sick infant whose father will not return from the war. She offers him room and board and a chance for him to regain his strength. He saves her from the lustful clutches of renegade Yankee soldiers on a looting spree and then he continues on his way. He runs into a hedonistic clergyman (Philip Seymour Hoffman, "25th Hour") who's obsessed with his regularity. They take sanctuary in a house of sex-starved women who tempt them while offering food and lodging, and where their devious brother, a backwoods farmer (Giovanni Ribisi, "Lost in Translation") almost succeeds in drugging them and turning them over to the Home Guard. Then he runs into Maddy the goat lady (Eileen Atkins, "The Hours"), a backwoods philosopher who nurses him back from yet another wound. The film has been beautifully photographed by John Seale ("The English Patient"), and Dante Ferretti's ("The Age of Innocence") production design brilliantly captures the time and place. The wonderful background score by Gabriel Yared captures the sounds of the time, incoporating folk tunes of the period making the music feel organic to the film. Handsome Jude Law's performance is fine and lovely Nicole Kidman is even better, but she is completely upstaged by the comic antics of Renee Zellweger, whose prickly pluck gives the film a much needed dose of warmth and joy. The huge supporting cast has many standouts, including Donald Sutherland as Ada's father and particularly Kathy Baker ("Picket Fences") who is excellent as Sally, a neighbor who loses her entire family. It is a stunning film, but it's made most memorable by the unforgettable performance of Renee Zellweger

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