Thursday, December 18, 2003

Tonight I saw a sneak preview of Cold Mountain, and it's everything Miramax is going to build it up as, and perhaps more. Jude Law is astonishing, giving by far his best performance yet. Renée Zellweger is great as always, and Nicole Kidman is typically superb. Director Anthony Minghella is someone I've respected before but never really liked his work - until now. This film is a marvel of direction - and scriptwriting, and Minghella adapted Charles Frazier's bestseller himself. T-Bone Burnett's music is on par with what he did for O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Gabriel Yared's score is a feat unto itself. I'm not a Civil War buff, nor have I read Frazier's novel, but I was enraptured by every moment on the screen. The story is really, of course, two stories: a war story and a love story. Both are told so expertly, and intertwined note-perfectly. The only 2003 film I've seen it its league is Lost In Translation, and Law's performance here rivals Bill Murray's in its complexity and nuances. Shockingly, shockingly great filmmaking, and a definite must-see when it opens on Christmas Day, y'all. Wow.

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