December 25, 2003
Cold Mountain is the next big Oscar campaign project for Miramax. The film is being helmed by Anthony Minghella, the gifted director who gave us The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley and the acerbic Truly, Madly Deeply. For the past five years, he has been attempting to get this project off the ground but until recently, he was unsuccessful in his attempt. Oddly, it was Tom Cruise's temporary interest followed by his passing on the project which put it on the frontburner again. A hotly contested battle is now being waged between several hot actors and actresses to gain a part in this film.
The story for Cold Mountain won its author, Charles Frazier, the National Book Award and it has sold over two million copies to date. It follows the travels of a Ulysses-esque character named Inman who leaves behind his life and a woman named Ada in order to participate in the Civil War. When he awakens in a hospital bed, he stands up and begins a journey to return to her and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
During the course of his odyssey, he encounters many other people struggling to deal with the repercussions of a war that tore apart the very fabric of the country. Some of them have taken to lawlessness and impede Inman's progress while others believe that there is a greater need than ever to reach out to a person in need so they help him. His difficulties in many ways mirror the trials and tribulations faced by all Americans in the age of reconstruction but also the troubles soldiers in particular must overcome when they return home from war.
While he advances toward his home, Ada is left to deal with her own problems. She has been left in charge the estate she inherited from her father, a preacher forced to move from the high society of Charleston into the backwoods of the mountains due to health problems. She finds herself a complete stranger in the land and abandoned by the men she expected to help her maintain the family farm. In witnessing her day to day difficulties, we see a rare side of the effects of the Civil War on family in addition to a wonderful exploration of a woman discovering a strength inside her that she didn't know she had.
The three lead roles have all gone to superlative actors. Jude Law plays the male lead of Inman with rumored off-screen paramour Nicole Kidman in the key role of Ada. Kidman's fellow 2001 Best Actress nominee Renee Zelwegger has part of Ruby, a drifter who becomes Ada's comrade in arms and companion on the estate. Both ladies were Academy Award nominees for Best Actress last year with Kidman taking home the prize. For his part, Law received a Best Supporting Actor nod in 2000. Clearly, everything about this trio screams Oscar bait.
Miramax began grooming this for the 2003 Oscar campaign a year and a half ago by assigning it a cozy December 2003 release. With three Oscar-nominated actors up for the lead roles and Oscar winning director behind the lens, this appears to be a savvy move and a strong contender for the 2003 Best Picture crown. (David Mumpower/BOP)
June 4, 2002
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Giovanni Ribisi, Brendan Gleeson and Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) have all joined the cast. (Kim Hollis/BOP)
October 31, 2003
With release only two months away, the Miramax marketing machine is gearing up for a media blitz. Considering all of the controversy over screeners and the fact that Miramax switched ad agencies earlier this year, this project is not a slam dunk by any stretch. It is, however, the first film mentioned by a majority of Academy Awards analysts when sizing up the competition. Early reviews should start to trickle in over the coming month, so we'll start to get a better idea of whether Cold Mountain delivers the good enough for the Weinsteins to get really good seats on Oscar Sunday again this year. (David Mumpower/BOP)
Vital statistics for Cold Mountain
Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellweger, Natalie Portman
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Giovanni Ribisi, Ray Winstone, Brendan Gleeson, Kathy Baker, Lucas Black, Charlie Hunnam, Jena Malone, Taryn Manning, Ethan Supplee, Donald Sutherland
Anthony Minghella (based on the novel by Charles Frazier)
||Click Here for Trailer
Awards page for Cold Mountain
||Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture
Comparison films for Cold Mountain
|A.I. Artificial Intelligence
|Road to Perdition
|Enemy at the Gates
|Talented Mr. Ripley, The ^
|Bridget Jones's Diary
|Down With Love
|One True Thing