Back to Cold Mountain
It was just before the start of the Civil War that Inman (Jude Law), a labourer, met Ada Monroe (Nicole Kidman) the daughter of the Reverend Monroe (Donald Sutherland). But whilst obviously keen on each other the start of the war meant that Inman went off to fight with the other local men whilst Ada was amongst the women left behind to look after the land with those too old or infirm to serve in the army. But whilst Ada's attempt to work the land are troubled leading to her taking in Ruby Thewes (Ren?e Zellweger) to help Inman's war leads to an event filled journey meeting various people, suffering loss as well as injury all in his quest to make it back to Cold Mountain and Ada.
If I was to say that "Cold Mountain" was a love story all about a soldier trying to make it home to the woman he loves it might be accurate but it wouldn't do this movie's storyline justice for the simple reason "Cold Mountain" is a movie of events in the life of not just are young soldier but also the woman he left behind. As such as we follow Inman's quest home we see him meet a despicable reverend, a lying farmer and his randy harem of women, an old woman who practices medicine and many more including a young mum. The whole time we see this going on we also encounter Inman's growing distaste for killing and the senseless loss of life unless the person dying deserves it.
But if that wasn't enough we also encounter Ada's experiences of the Civil War starting with discovering her total lack of know how when it comes to working the land leading to her friendship with Ruby Thewes. We also see how the Confederate Home Guard is ruthless in their treatment of deserters but also those who assist the men by hiding and feeding them. And so when you combine this with Inman's trouble laden quest to return home you have this wonderful story which paints this fascinating picture surrounding the romantic drama of Inman and Ada during the war.
Now I know it isn't the point but I did have to smile that the lead characters in this drama about the American Civil War are Jude Law, a Londoner, and Nicole Kidman who whilst born in Honolulu is better known as an Australian. But in fairness they both play their parts very well and it is thanks to the way the movie shifts between their stories and we have all the events and people they encounter that they never feel like they are out staying their welcome. To put it really simply when "Cold Mountain" came to an end I actually wished it hadn't as I could have easily spent more time in the company of these characters and their event filled lives.
What this all boils down to is that "Cold Mountain" is one of those movies which whilst visually impressive isn't really an epic yet it features an event filled storyline which has an epic quality. And it is because of the event filled nature of the story and the likeable nature of the characters that it ends up a wonderfully engrossing drama you hope will never end.