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Reviewing Anthony Minghella's Movie A Cold Mountain

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Classic love story mixed with Civil War action makes for a recipe of pure awesomeness. This movie was definitely a real tearjerker as well as inspiring. Cold Mountain, a film directed by Anthony Minghella starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, and Renée Zellweger, portrays a love story between a belle and a wood workman turned soldier. Separated by a war, they are trying to find their way back to each other while trying to survive in a very difficult circumstance. Love and cheesiness asides, we see the first anti-hero in our seminar who was honestly, anything but a hero. Apart from this we see the other side of the war and we learn that life still goes on despite everything that is happening.

From the start of the movie we see our two main characters, Inman and Ada, who are introduced simply because of the fact that Inman was building Ada’s father’s church. As all cheesy chick flicks go, it was love at first sight. They enjoy each others presence occasionally and while never openly admitting their love, make the best of it until Inman is taken to war. As Inman is absent, we see Ada go through her set of trials and tribulations as her father passes. We see that she is forced to go through something she was never accustomed to: work. She is not alone though, as she gains the friendship of a work woman named Ruby. Ruby teaches her the best way she can at working in exchange for room and board. On Inman’s side, we see him go through even more peril. He is first injured in the next from a battle but after reading a letter that Ada had sent him long ago, he is inspired to keep going. He deserts the army and makes his way towards Ada. However, it is passed that those who desert, will be hunted as well as those who take them in. Throughout the movie, Inman is trying to escape from these hunters who are after him. He meets several kind people including a widow named Sarah and her baby. After spending the night with her the Northerners give them a rude awakening. Fortunately, Inman is able to save them. As he makes his way, he finally reaches Ada. After a final confrontation between the hunters and Inman, he is shot and killed. In a scene that resembles the vision that Ada had at the beginning, Inman is surrounded by ravens and falls, dying in Ada’s arms. In the future, Ada writes to Inman still and explains about how much she misses him. She looks to a brighter future with her friends and her daughter, fathered by Inman.

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Throughout the film we are exposed to a different kind of gender role. The women are forced to go from this classy comfortable lifestyle that they are unaccustomed to which is amazing. We see Ada turn from a sheltered woman to a skilled hunter, farmer, and friend. She is forced to do the work that normally a slave would have done. Slaves are not portrayed very much but in one scene that we notice is so very powerful: as Inman is walking, he encounters a slave family on the run with food. He offers them money but they ignore him and look at him with fear. This shows how powerful the white man was and their capability at instilling fear into the blacks.

Overall, this was an excellent movie with a great plot. Full of romance and drive, it honestly was enough to make anyone cry or cheer for this anti-hero. Gender roles were not followed as they normally would have. There was no issues with being historical accuracy as we see that this film does not really follow the war but rather it’s effects on our protagonists as well as other characters in the background.

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