This movie was considered a lock for multiple award nominations before it even was made, let alone came out. And, it did garner 8 Golden Globe nomination and seven Academy Award nominations, which is why I saw it. But the Academy did not give it a Best Picture nod, and I have to say I agree. I liked Cold Mountain much better as a sum of its parts rather than the whole. The movie is too disjointed and episodic to truly feel pulled together for me.
The acting is fine, and the leads have undeniable chemistry, but are separated for the vast majority of the film, which is a problem cinematically. It leads to…well, I’ll let you figure it yourself, but let’s just say I wasn’t smacked in the head with the ending. All in all this is a worthy picture, but not one I would have rushed to see if I hadn’t been sure it was going to get a Best Picture nomination.
Suspension of Disbelief Index: 4. The opening history is fudged (It’s “The Crater” episode of the Civil war, which I wrote about last year), but that’ not really the point. The main glaring weakness is that this is a civil war movie with nary a mention of slavery (a departure from the much heralded book, I’m told). I realize that there are many stories to tell from this terrible war, but points off anyway.
Genre Grade: Historical Romance: B. Very moving, very bittersweet, but not quite Celine-worthy.
Pantheon Percentile: 81. A fine film, but not one of the greatest ever.