The movie stars Nicole Kidman as Ada Monroe whose father, Reverend Monroe (portrayed by Donald Sutherland) moves them from their home to Cold Mountain for his health. That’s where she meets Inman (Jude Law), a man of few words. And they fall in love in a matter of days even though they’ve only exchanged probably less than a hundred words with each other. But hey, I buy it. (Sandy; I’d marry Jude Law even if he didn’t ask.)
When Inman joins the Confederate States Army, they get separated and Ada does nothing but worry about his safety and whether he’ll return to her or not. She writes him letters and never knows if he ever gets one. While he’s away, Ada’s father dies and she is left with nothing. All her father’s investments are worthless due to the war, so she has to rely on herself and the kindness of her neighbors. Then Ruby Thewes (Renee Zellweger) goes up to her farm and offers Ada her services in exchange for a roof over her head and meals. And Ruby also teaches Ada how to run a farm. Their friendship grows and you see Ada turn from Southern Belle to hard-working woman. They are two tough women who are prepared to use a rifle to protect themselves when needed.
Meanwhile, Inman gets shot in the neck and is brought to a hospital where Mrs. Morgan (Emily Deschanel) reads him a letter from Ada telling him to come home to her. Which would make him a deserter but unsurprisingly he does so. So begins his long journey back to Cold Mountain.
Ada: If you are fighting, stop fighting. If you are marching, stop marching. Come back to me. Come back to me is my request.
Along his journey home he encounters several people who want him dead or sold as a deserter and some who are willing to help him. One of these people is a widow named Sara, played by Natalie Portman, who feeds him and even offers him a place to sleep. The next day a couple of Union foragers come and try to steal her livestock. One of them even tries to molest her, but thankfully Inman is there to save her.
When he finally does get home, he sees Ada walking alone in the mountains and starts to approach her. She doesn’t recognize him right away and tells him to leave, even firing a few warning shots with her rifle. So he turns around and walks away, but when she does realize it’s him they run into each other’s arms and spend the night together.
The joy and love experienced during that night equals the pain and heartbreak experienced in the morning when the Home Guard, who tracks down deserters, finds them. Though their leader Teague, (played by Ray Winstone) – pretty much the worst baddie in the film- is killed quickly, it’s his horribly violent second Bosie (Charlie Hunnam) that’s the one to worry about. He and Inman have a shoot out, if that’s what you call it, and Bosie dies immediately. But, oh no! Inman is shot too! Though he makes it back to Ada he drops and they have a few last words and “I love you”s and he dies in her arms. (Sandy: What the hell?!?)
The movie then forwards to a few years later and we see her with a child, I assume Inman’s, and Ruby with her own little family having a meal together all happy and pleasant.
Ada: If you saw us this Easter… you would know that every step of your journey is worth it.
I really liked the movie, it was interesting and the cinematography was beautiful showing gorgeous country landscapes. And even the war scenes were nice to look at. Nicole Kidman played her role well and she wasn’t the annoying damsel in distress. She survived without a man and during that time, it was a feat. My problem with Renee is that I don’t like Renee. Though I give credit for her accent I still don’t like her and at times I found her acting annoying. The film had several big names playing small parts like Philip Seymour Hoffman (he played a sinful reverend), Kathy baker as a nice neighbor saved by Ruby and Ada, Natalie Portman, and Donald Sutherland, but it never felt forced. They had their characters to play but the limelight was always on our two love birds.
Now all the formalities are out of the way, I just really want to talk about how hot Jude Law is! (Sandy: Knew it.) Yes, yes, I appreciated his great acting and his accent was really good. But his face! He is just so pretty and every time he was on screen I felt my face heat up a little. His character was awkward and barely spoke but his eyes were just so nice to look at! I can’t stop gushing! I’ve always had a small crush on him but this movie made my heart explode! Okay, I’ll stop now.