Cold Mountain

Director: Anthony Minghella
Year Released: 2003
Rating: 0.5

Unbearably tedious big-screen adaptation of Frazier's Pulitzer Prize winning novel - it's the kind of movie that, if you haven't read the book (like I haven't), makes that award sound completely trivial. On the page, Frazier's story may have stood on its own, but film is a different story: the symbolism of Kidman looking into the well and seeing Jude Law's reflection is painfully obvious (and when the scene reappears in the ending, it's even more ridiculous), and the idea that Law and Kidman would fall in love so quickly (they barely know each other) is a stretch (a stretch, I might add, that is integral to finding the movie poignant and romantic). The journey (meeting strange new people) is supposed to be more important than the destination (between the legs of Nicole Kidman), but with a movie you really only see the big message: Jude Law survives countless problems only to have sex with this woman and gets killed in a Christ-like manner (notice the pose and the blood coming from his side - more gaudy symbolism). The trackers - who chase after deserter Law - must have GPS and tracking devices on them, since they seem to find him no matter where he goes and threaten to kill him or the people around him whenever the drama sags.